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Ontario government moves closer to smart meter initiative

The government of Ontario in Canada has proposed legislation that provides the framework for its commitment to install 800,000 smart meters in Ontario homes and businesses by 2007, with all energy users being included by 2010. Smart metering, combined with a pricing structure that reflects the cost of power production at specific times of the day and year, will allow consumers to make informed decisions about their electricity use.

Energy conservation is a cornerstone of the government’s plan to ensure that everyone in the province has a safe, clean, secure and reliable supply of electricity, and the Energy Conservation Responsibility Act 2005 serves as another building block in the drive to create a culture of conservation. The bill, which has not yet been passed, requires ministries, agencies and broader public sector organisations to prepare energy conservation strategies on a regular basis, and to report on energy consumption, proposed conservation measures and progress on achieving results.

Many utilities in the province had frozen their smart meter pilot projects pending legislative clarity. Now, if the 800,000 new meters are to be installed by 2007, deployment will need to start early in 2006.