Bring on smart meters, variable rates

Editor, Black Press

Re: Hydro smart meters coming this year (online editions, Jan. 18).

I can’t wait! Being in a new house in Kelowna I already have a smart meter installed and I’d really like to take advantage of time-of-use pricing now.

I’ve recently moved from Ontario where I was already paying for electricity at time-of-use rates. Now I have electric heat and feel I could even better manage my consumption to avoid peak load times and thus save myself some direct costs.

I do hope, however, that time-of-use rates are set in such a way as to truly offset peak load costs and help make the whole system more efficient, thus keeping overall rates lower in the long term. There has to be a clear advantage to using off-peak power.

Bending to the demands of large consumers who traditionally do make use of a lot of peak-load power, as Ontario seems to have done so far, won’t have the right effect, either long-term for everyone, or for smart consumers (big and small) who hope to immediately take full advantage of the potential savings.

The potential savings in Ontario, so far, have been relatively small and don’t seem to have convinced as many users to shift away from peak load times.

Greg A. Wood

Kelowna