Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bravo Hydro-Québec: The company is smarter than the meters

Hydro-Québec is right ... the Gazette is wrong.
Time-of-use is political, and not the least bit rational.  Peak demand is usually in off-peak hours in Ontario (except in summer).
Now ... peak pricing that is set infrequently during exception demand spikes (very cold days in Quebec, and very hot days throughout Quebec's export markets) could be a well utilized tool.  Smart meters can be smart without breaking up family dinners.

Hydro's new meters aren't as smart as they could be:
"Hydro-Québec says it looked at the possibility of time-of-use pricing and came to the conclusion that Quebecers aren't sufficiently interested in the concept. As a result, the meters that Hydro is now proposing to install in 3.8 million residential and non-residential locations will not have their time-of-use functionality activated.
Hydro says its rejection of the time-of-use option was based on a pilot study that it conducted in 2,200 homes in Trois Rivières, Val d'Or, Sept Îles and St. Jean sur Richelieu from December 2008 to March 2010.
That pilot project was carried out only after the Régie de l'énergie, the provincial oversight body that is hosting the public hearings that opened this week, ordered Hydro to test time-of-use consumption billing before deciding how to proceed with new metering across Quebec.
The 2,200 customers were charged a variable rate for their electricity consumption, according to time of day and season of use. Based on the results, Hydro concluded there is "no real interest" in time-of-use pricing in Quebec."

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