Remove Smart Meter Entity Charge from Consumer Bills

By, NOTL Hydro Board - October 3rd 2017

 Service Should be Competitive

October 3, 2017, Niagara-on-the-Lake – Embedded in the Delivery Charge on every electricity bill is a $0.79 monthly charge called the Smart Meter Entity Charge.  This charge is not kept by the local distributor or transmitter but is sent to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) where it funds the management of a Meter Data Management and Repository (MDM/R) at a total cost of around $50 million per year. 

The MDM/R is a database which contains all smart meter data.  It should be noted that this does not include the address of the meter, the account number or the name on the account so there is limited personal privacy risk.  The IESO is investigating uses for the MDM/R data and has recently increased the scope of the data by adding postal codes and customer rate classes.

Current regulations require the local distribution companies (LDCs) to use the MDM/R as part of the customer billing process.  However, if they were allowed, LDCs could obtain this service at lower cost from alternate service providers.  This would allow for a reduction in rates for all customers.

The Board of Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) Hydro calls for the removal of the Smart Meter Entity Charge from the electricity consumer’s bill and for the removal of the regulatory requirement for LDCs to use the MDM/R.  If there is value in the MDM/R database then the cost should be paid by those who want to use the data.  The cost of the services actually used should be part of the LDCs distribution rates.

“With the current cost of electricity in Ontario we have to look at every cost and evaluate if it is warranted;” said Jim Ryan, Chair of the NOTL Hydro Board, “there are certain luxuries like the MDM/R that we can no longer afford.”

The Board of NOTL Hydro has previously urged the Minister and the Premier to take steps to reduce the high cost of electricity in Ontario and has provided concrete suggestions.

 

NOTL Hydro Board Critiques:

ABOUT NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE HYDRO 

Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro distributes power to over 9,000 customers in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. We are committed to operating as a sustainable high-performance, customer-driven business and to providing the highest standard in safety, service and reliability. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is the 100% shareholder of the corporation.