The government of Ontario province in Canada is taking action to ensure that the province is able to meet its long-term energy needs. At present the province has about 30,500MW of generation capacity, and forecasts indicate that it will need a further 25,000MW by 2020. A combination of increased generating capacity and conservation efforts will be needed to reach this figure.

As part of the conservation effort, the government has plans to put smart meters into every home by 2010, with an interim target of 800,000 in place by 2007. Three million more meters will be required to meet the 2010 deadline. The Ontario Ministry of Energy has advised that it will deliver functional specifications to the Ontario Energy Board that include:

  • More information than just on and off-peak consumption (traditional time-of-use metering).
  • The consumer must be able to see consumption data in real time.
  • Several alternative pricing schemes will be presented to consumers.
  • Data will be collected by automated methods (AMR).

The Ontario Energy Board will then select a technology and suppliers to deliver it. The Ministry also plans to expand the use of net metering to facilitate distributed generation. The introduction of prepayment meters is also being considered.