Toronto, ON, Canada --- (METERING.COM) --- June 28, 2007

The Ontario Energy Board yesterday issued amendments to the Retail Settlement Code (RSC), the Distribution System Code (DSC), and the Standard Supply Service Code (SSS) relating to the implementation of smart meters in Ontario.

The code amendments were made to clarify the roles and responsibilities of electricity distribution utilities in relation to the management of smart meter data and billing processes as they work toward implementing the Province’s Smart Metering Initiative (SMI). In addition the amendments ensure that the Board’s regulatory instruments accommodate the SMI and related policies, and that smart metering is implemented on a cost effective basis during the transition period to full implementation in 2010.

The principal purpose of the amendments to the RSC was to clarify the status of smart meters for billing and settlement purposes. Specifically, smart meters are to be treated as non-interval meters for billing and settlement purposes, including in relation to the calculation of the net system load shape, pending the final evolution and implementation of the meter data repository (MDM/R) and the synchronization of the licensed distributors’ systems with those of the MDM/R and its eventual operator, the Smart Metering Entity (SME).

The principal purpose of the amendments to the DSC was to ensure that, once a licensed distributor’s systems are synchronized to the MDM/R, the licensed distributor will not be performing activities in relation to meter data that are expected to be done through the MDM/R.

The principal purpose of the amendments to the SSS Code was to introduce the possibility of consumer choice in relation to time-of-use (TOU) pricing. As a result utilities that have elected to implement TOU pricing will have two options, either to allow consumers with smart meters to choose TOU pricing, or to make TOU pricing mandatory for anyone with a smart meter in their service area. In a further amendment the OEB has proposed that utilities be required to notify their customers directly, by bill insert or other direct means such as a letter, other direct mailing or telephone call, about whether TOU pricing will be provided on a mandatory or voluntary basis.

The government of Ontario has committed to install smart electricity meters in 800,000 homes and small businesses in the province by 2007 and throughout Ontario by 2010.
 
The Ontario Energy Board is the province’s electricity and natural gas sector regulator.