Saturday, 10 March 2007

Smart Meter

My Smart Meter was installed a few days ago.

By 2010, all households in Ontario will have one of these hi-tech babies attached to the wall, measuring electricity use.

Currently, this new digital meter measures energy at a set cost per kWh, just like the old mechanical meter that it has replaced, but when it's activated in 3 years time, it will measure the time of day that the energy is used.

When demand for energy is high, the cost per kWh will also be high, and vice versa. So I'll have to get used to doing my laundry and washing my dishes between 10pm and 7am, or on weekends, or pay the price.

This is supposed to help build a conservation culture in Ontario, but I wonder if it's just another subtle way of making us pay more for electricity, hoping that we won't notice.


  1. We have one just like that, and we have off-hours for doing clothes drying or dish-washing, and we pay less for doing those things at the off-hours. It makes sense, and it doesn't take too long to get used to.

    Thanks for the visit. Chocolate dresses are showing up as the favorite this year - along with French blue. Most brides want either light blue or pink flowers with their brown dresses, but another choice is lime green. I think that lime and light blue are both great with brown - and I love them together. Let me know what she chooses.

  2. Seems to me the bottom line is always money. If everybody uses the power on the off hours then it will be the peak hours, Its a vicious circle.

  3. We used to use 'economy 7' electircity which worked very similar to your new gadget, I put my dishwasher and washing machine on to time switches and set them to go off in the middle of the night! Worked a treat!!!

  4. I Switzerland, many building owners will not allow you to wash between 10pm and 8am and on Sundays in oder not to "disturb" the other tenants.

    Hmmmm. $$$$$$?

  5. Hm. Evil thought. Can you reprogram these things?

  6. We have this in Idaho already....because our energy comes from a co-op....when we get our bill there are all kinds of white and black happy faces telling me what I did wrong for the month...I wash late in the day, don't use the dishwasher when alone and turn it on at 11pm when I do use it. Last summer when Steve was watering the weeds to death (literally) we got a "bad people" letter from the co-op.

  7. your stained glass diamond is beautiful - lovely and exquisite, you're very clever.

  8. We have run a big long cable to the local library for our electric, I managed to get in the back window at night and put our plug in to a spare socket.

    Do you think I am mad?! I am joking of course; our cable would not reach to the library so I tapped in to the local police station instead.

    PS Love the glass panel, you clever little sausage!

  9. Sounds like a good idea to me if it reduces peak load and stops extra power stations coming online :)

  10. If it's only a meter, and nothing more, I suspect you are right. I've heard about some tests in Washington State, where they put more intelligence into the system. The system will find the cheapest vendor all time of day, and you can descide what's your comfort temperature, be given signals when to use household machines etc. The tests so far shows 20-30 % drop in powerconsumption and even more in bills.
    And with nanotech, you can in some years have clothes that do not need hot water, or washingmachines, to stay clean....

    Have a nice week.

  11. zero, zero, one, two, eight.

    Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

    Full remote meters and currently being tested here and I believe they will start installing them in all homes within 2 to 3 years.

    It won't worry me as I'll be well and truly gone.

  12. Now that's an interesting concept... I wonder if it will make an impact? Come back next year and tell us if Ontario has seen a difference.

  13. Here in London, we're waiting for our smart meters to arrive. I tend to agree with your latter point: it's a cash grab, pure and simple. Looking back at history, every initiative to expand the energy pool and reduce prices (nuke plants, deregulation, partnerships with Quebec and American utilities, etc.) was supposed to result in lower prices.

    In every case, without exception, it has created shortages, spiking prices and uncertainty in the market. These meters will merely continue the trend.

    I'm seriously considering going solar.


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