Ever since MLGW launched the Smart Grid Demo in 2010, we’ve been able to compare what we are learning with some of the best utilities in the world. That’s why we actively participate in various utility organizations whose members may be from other countries. We are learning from the best like Toronto Hydro.
Toronto Hydro owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 709,000 customers located in the City of Toronto. It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 18 percent of the electricity consumed in Ontario. Approximately 87 percent of their customers are residential.
In 2006, the Government of Ontario mandated that smart meters be installed on every home in Ontario by 2010. Toronto Hydro conducted a 5,000 meter pilot project which showed that, among other things, they needed to be prepared to inspect and repair and/or replace meter sockets that were either damaged or malfunctioning at their cost.
Over a three-year period, Toronto Hydro installed approx 674,000 Elster smart meters. There were no instances of so-called smart meter fires. No so-called smart meter burn up. In terms of performance, they have had no evidence to suggest that their smart meters failed at a rate any different from the meters that were removed.
To cap it all off, Toronto Hydro recycled every meter they removed.
We’re learning from Toronto Hydro and we plan to use their experience to make our smart meter program better.
We will have choice; customers should have the right to refuse a smart meter as much as they should have the right to have one. We will take the extra step to inspect to every meter socket and, if need be, repair and/or replace it at no cost to the homeowner. We know smart meters improve energy conservation, a plus for the environment because it reduces one’s carbon footprint.
We’re learning. So are our customers.
To learn more about MLGW’s smart meter project, www.mlgw.com/smartgrid.