The Situation
Wholly owned by the province of Ontario, Hydro One Networks Inc. delivers electricity to 1.3 million residential, commercial and municipal customers. Estimates show that over the next 20 years, Ontario will need to refurbish, rebuild, replace or conserve 25,000 megawatts of generating capacity – more than 80 percent of Ontario's current electricity generating capacity – at an estimated $70 billion CAD.

To meet this challenge, building new generation sources is part of the answer, but the solution involves far more than just construction. In fact, there are tremendous opportunities for the province to reduce the supply-demand gap by shifting when consumers use electricity. With the introduction of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and time-of-use (TOU) rates – charging higher rates during peak demand hours and lower rates at night and other off-peak times when there is a surplus of electric generation capacity – consumers will have an incentive to shift when and how they use electricity.

“We are implementing the most capable AMI solution ever deployed to more than one million meters.”

Rick Stevens, Director, Development Strategies, Hydro One Networks Inc.

For Ontario, this new infrastructure is expected to provide a foundation for achieving more than a five percent reduction in peak electricity demand through load shifting, energy savings and price awareness.

The Solution
Taking the utility leadership role in advancing this technology and supporting the provincial government’s goal to have a smart meter in every Ontario home and small business, Hydro One built a dedicated team. It began by developing and testing the processes, tools and network infrastructure required to support the mass deployment of AMI-enabled smart meters from 2006 through 2010. The mission statement for the project was to deploy a smart metering/network solution that meets the provincial Ministry of Energy’s requirements at the lowest possible cost, and to be an enabler for future business process transformation.

Objectives were to:

  • Deploy smart meters across the residential and small commercial customer base
  • Build enabling communications network and infrastructure
  • Develop and test index-based and TOU-based billing, including billing data links with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) who operate the meter data repository for the province.

In addition to meeting the requirements laid out by the province, Hydro One also set an objective for its AMI project to deploy a platform that could enable a broad range of new initiatives that will extend beyond automated meter reading for billing purposes.

The following initiatives are included in Hydro One’s strategy for meeting future energy needs, while also delivering better service to customers:

  • TOU pricing
  • Theft detection and other automated billing functions
  • Direct and/or premises-based load control
  • In-premise displays
  • Real time outage information
  • Distribution automation
  • Distribution grid monitoring.

Capgemini, an integral part of the project team, is responsible for overall project management support, systems enhancement and integration, integrated process design, and meter/network deployment management and support. Capgemini was appointed as a business process and IT outsourcing partner for Hydro One in a landmark $1 billion CAD contract over 10 years in 2002.

The Result
Successfully meeting project objectives has become a hallmark for Hydro One and its partners. In June 2008, Hydro One began leveraging its new infrastructure by using automatically collected index meter reads for billing – reducing the number of estimated reads and enabling the gradual redeployment of meter reading staff for meter installation. Just a month later, the team had surpassed the notable milestone of a half-million installed smart meters. This puts the project on target to meet the Ministry of Energy objective of completing meter deployment by 2010.

The team’s exceptional vision and approach played a key role in the Utility Planning Network’s decision to select Hydro One as their 2007 award recipient for AMR (Automated Meter Reading) deployment.

How Hydro One and Capgemini Worked Together
The Province of Ontario is making significant investments to create a culture of conservation. In July 2004, the Energy Minister directed that 800,000 smart meters be installed by close of 2007, and for all of Ontario’s 4.5 million customers by the end of 2010. For Hydro One, this challenge was made even more difficult because of the complexity of providing service to both the urban and extremely rugged rural areas of Canada’s most populous province – which is twice the size of Texas and is larger than France and Spain combined. The utility’s most remote customers are accessible only by rail, helicopter, snowmobile or boat. In some cases, utility employees must travel an entire day to reach just a few customers.

Given Ontario’s vast size, Hydro One realized that to be successful, this project needed to be more than a basic AMR implementation. At the core of the solution is a ubiquitous communication network and a standards-based, scalable, flexible approach to device integration. Both elements are required to enable the exploitation of data from many types of devices – AMR, load control, in-home displays, distribution monitoring and control – by posting and making the information available to numerous enterprise applications, such as customer information systems, outage management, asset management, geographic information systems and work execution systems.

To accomplish this task, Hydro One assembled a team of industry leaders to develop the vision for an end-to-end solution that embraced open standards and the use of Internet Protocol (IP)-based communication. This ensures that the network and integration would be available and compatible with multiple field applications. With deep experience managing large-scale projects, Capgemini brings a clear, well-developed, and practical approach to implementing this new generation of AMI. Working closely with Hydro One, the team used a robust, proven governance model that smoothly integrates and manages multiple work streams.

The team set aggressive goals by aiming to deploy 610,000 smart meters by 2008 and the full 1.3 million by 2010. Capgemini’s scope includes:

  • Program management and governance
  • Meter/network deployment management support —from strategy and guidelines to accomplishment tracking
  • Integrating and commissioning new head-end systems
  • Back office transformation, including enhancement and integration of legacy billing applications and customer care processes
  • Provision of strategic direction on retail and wholesale activities.

In the words of Rick Stevens, Director, Development Strategies, Hydro One Networks Inc., “This team leverages hundreds of utility field personnel who actively seek assignment to our challenging and exciting smart meter project. Having worked with many teams during my time with Hydro One, as well as my role on the Utilimetrics (formerly AMRA) Board of Trustees and other capacities, I have never seen such a diverse, professional and capable team come together.”

  • Deploy smart meters across the residential and small commercial customer base
  • Build enabling communications network and infrastructure
  • Develop and test index-based and TOU-based billing, including billing data links with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) who operate the meter data repository for the province.

In addition to meeting the requirements laid out by the province, Hydro One also set an objective for its AMI project to deploy a platform that could enable a broad range of new initiatives that will extend beyond automated meter reading for billing purposes.

The following initiatives are included in Hydro One’s strategy for meeting future energy needs, while also delivering better service to customers:

  • TOU pricing
  • Theft detection and other automated billing functions
  • Direct and/or premises-based load control
  • In-premise displays
  • Real time outage information
  • Distribution automation
  • Distribution grid monitoring.

Capgemini, an integral part of the project team, is responsible for overall project management support, systems enhancement and integration, integrated process design, and meter/network deployment management and support. Capgemini was appointed as a business process and IT outsourcing partner for Hydro One in a landmark $1 billion CAD contract over 10 years in 2002.

The Result
Successfully meeting project objectives has become a hallmark for Hydro One and its partners. In June 2008, Hydro One began leveraging its new infrastructure by using automatically collected index meter reads for billing – reducing the number of estimated reads and enabling the gradual redeployment of meter reading staff for meter installation. Just a month later, the team had surpassed the notable milestone of a half-million installed smart meters. This puts the project on target to meet the Ministry of Energy objective of completing meter deployment by 2010.

The team’s exceptional vision and approach played a key role in the Utility Planning Network’s decision to select Hydro One as their 2007 award recipient for AMR (Automated Meter Reading) deployment.

How Hydro One and Capgemini Worked Together
The Province of Ontario is making significant investments to create a culture of conservation. In July 2004, the Energy Minister directed that 800,000 smart meters be installed by close of 2007, and for all of Ontario’s 4.5 million customers by the end of 2010. For Hydro One, this challenge was made even more difficult because of the complexity of providing service to both the urban and extremely rugged rural areas of Canada’s most populous province – which is twice the size of Texas and is larger than France and Spain combined. The utility’s most remote customers are accessible only by rail, helicopter, snowmobile or boat. In some cases, utility employees must travel an entire day to reach just a few customers.

Given Ontario’s vast size, Hydro One realized that to be successful, this project needed to be more than a basic AMR implementation. At the core of the solution is a ubiquitous communication network and a standards-based, scalable, flexible approach to device integration. Both elements are required to enable the exploitation of data from many types of devices – AMR, load control, in-home displays, distribution monitoring and control – by posting and making the information available to numerous enterprise applications, such as customer information systems, outage management, asset management, geographic information systems and work execution systems.

To accomplish this task, Hydro One assembled a team of industry leaders to develop the vision for an end-to-end solution that embraced open standards and the use of Internet Protocol (IP)-based communication. This ensures that the network and integration would be available and compatible with multiple field applications. With deep experience managing large-scale projects, Capgemini brings a clear, well-developed, and practical approach to implementing this new generation of AMI. Working closely with Hydro One, the team used a robust, proven governance model that smoothly integrates and manages multiple work streams.

The team set aggressive goals by aiming to deploy 610,000 smart meters by 2008 and the full 1.3 million by 2010. Capgemini’s scope includes:

  • Program management and governance
  • Meter/network deployment management support —from strategy and guidelines to accomplishment tracking
  • Integrating and commissioning new head-end systems
  • Back office transformation, including enhancement and integration of legacy billing applications and customer care processes
  • Provision of strategic direction on retail and wholesale activities.

In the words of Rick Stevens, Director, Development Strategies, Hydro One Networks Inc., “This team leverages hundreds of utility field personnel who actively seek assignment to our challenging and exciting smart meter project. Having worked with many teams during my time with Hydro One, as well as my role on the Utilimetrics (formerly AMRA) Board of Trustees and other capacities, I have never seen such a diverse, professional and capable team come together.”