How to Test Your Smart Meter for Accuracy

51 Comments

Question: How Do I Test My Smart Meter for Accuracy?

Answer:
In an article by the Toronto Sun in July last year, Ontario Hydro One customers argued their newly installed Smart Meters, which introduced Time of Use Billing rather than interval-billing which bill every one or two month cycles, actually increased their monthly bills by up to 40%.

At a time where everything is all about green energy and saving money on energy bills its easy to assume that Smart Meters are here to help reduce the amount of energy we use and cut our electricity bills, right?

Smart Meters are advanced meters that identify energy consumption more accurately than conventional meters. They are designed to provide information about when the energy was used, rather than just provide how much energy was used.

Testing Smart Meters for Accuracy

Ontario isn’t the first to introduce Smart Meters to their customers, PG&E in the US introduced their Smart Meters last year and so far hasn’t had much luck retaining customer confidence.

Here’s a video about students from Stanford University using the TED 5000 because they suspected their PG&E Smart meter was over-billing them. As it turned out, the students were right. Apparently, over 50% of PG&E smart meters were setup incorrectly at the time. The problem was there were set to bill at a higher rate and they were being billed for their neighbors electricity use too. The students went away for a weekend, hoping their energy bills would be dramatically different, but that didn’t happen. Watch their video:

Learn about the TED 5000 Home Energy Monitor

TED 5000 power meter is a next-generation home energy monitor that features a built-in web server, Google Power Meter compatibility, and optional remote display.

My grandparents live in Toronto. When I went to visit them last year, my grandfather was telling me all about his new smart meter, which was at the time slowing being integrated into certain parts of the GTA. He wasn’t very Internet savvy at the time so the nice feature which allows Ontario Hydro customers to view and monitor their energy usage conveniently online, wasn’t really doing him any good (I created a facebook account for him and repeatedly had to show him how to upload his photos to his profile to share with the rest of the family).

Ontario Hydro Smart Meters differ from the previous version energy meters in that they measure time-of-use and not energy use over time. Time of use billing is used to differentiate energy consumption during different times of the day; rates are higher during the day and rates are lowered at night time. I stayed with them for a little while and although my grandfather had to remind me a couple of times, i got use to the fact that they’d prefer that I didn’t use appliances in the house anywhere from 8am to 10pm that used a lot of electricity, such as the washer and dryer.

The problem now is that I’ve been reading many stories about Ontario Hydro customers discovering that their electric bills have nearly doubled since Ontario Hydro installed their new smart meters. Its a problem because people are being charged more money for the same electricity usage as before and it also makes me worry that my grand parents are paying way more for their electricity than they have since they moved into their house over 20 years ago.

What Are People Doing About It?

A new customer contacted us last week and pointed this Hydro One Smart Meters controversy out to us. Apparently over in Ontario, Hydro One has been implementing Smart Meters and there’s been a lot of complaints over their “accuracy”. For all intents and purposes, let’s call this customer, “Bob”. Bob called us looking for a meter of his own to ensure that the one that Hydro One has installed is accurate. He was looking at the TED because it supports time of use pricing and Ontario has 4 different times of use for pricing currently. I also suggested the IMS mini meter to him as well because that one is ANSI C12 revenue grade, so it’s “accurate” but it’s just over-time counter that doesn’t offer different times of use customization – If you live in Ontario, you should have a look at the TED 5000. In Canada, you can buy the TED 5000-C (with display) for $251.95CAD ($239.95) which conveniently allows you to plug the display in any room in your house where you can view your energy usage information without having to turn your computer on.

Where Can You Buy the TED 5000 in Canada?

You can order your TED 5000 from Optimum Stores. Alternatively, feel free to call us toll free at 1.877.766.5412. Click the link below to learn more about the TED 5000:

Buy the TED 5000 Home Energy Monitor

TED 5000 power meter is a next-generation home energy monitor that features a built-in web server, Google Power Meter compatibility, and optional remote display.

If you liked reading this post, be sure to share it with your friends and family on Facebook or Tweet it by clicking our share buttons.

Like this post?

Delivered by Google FeedBurner

51 Comments »

  • 13 May 2010 at 3:06 pm
    Mike Knox said:

    Hi,

    I work for an electric utility in Ontario (not Hydro One) and am responsible for our Smart Meter program. I’d like to make a few comments:

    1. Smart Meters are really just “regular” meters with a clock. The old regular meter counted consumption in kWh like the odometer in your car. This month’s reading minus last month’s reading is how much you used in the month. All the Smart Meter does is record the reading every hour and transmit this wirelessly to the utility. Instead of this month minus last month, it’s this hour minus last hour. It’s a lot more data for the utility to manage, but is nothing more than that. The hourly useage can be rolled up into Time-of-Use blocks so that different rates can be applied for different blocks of time during the day.

    2. We don’t do this in Ontario, but some Smart Meters can have the rates and TOU blocks uploaded into them, so all the meter has to do is transmit the two or three TOU blocks back to the utility (i.e. the math is done in the meter). Not sure, but PG&E in California may have programmed the wrong rates or times into the meters which could account for the errors.

    3. Old mechanical meters ALWAYS fail slow, never fast. They are a bunch of mechanical gears and wheels which gum up over time. There is a remote possibility that some of the old meters were running slowly and when replaced with a new, accurate electronic meter would make the customers bill “go up” to where it should have been all along.

    4. Electric Meters are governed, inspected and sealed by Measurement Canada here in Ontario. Anyone can ask their utility for a “dispute test” to be done by MC, but there may be a charge for this, particularly if the meter turns out to be accurate.

    Hope this helps!

  • 14 May 2010 at 9:19 am
    King (author) said:

    Hi Mike, thank you for your comment.
    This does help us all understand how Smart Meters work and how they are governed.
    Understanding is the first step, but I believe the customers that are experiencing the 20-30% increase in energy bills is what concerns everyone the most.
    Here are a couple of articles by the Financial Post http://www.financialpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=3015598
    and Yahoo! Finance http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/personal-finance/article/bankratecanada/1316/how-smart-are-smart-meters
    Have your customers been experiencing increased rates? Nobody wants to pay more for their utilities, but is this new system designed to teach everyone how to use energy more wisely?
    Thanks Mike!

  • 20 May 2010 at 5:22 pm
    Murray said:

    Mike,

    I just had one of those “smart meters” installed so I do not have a bill from the power company yet. However the meter has only been installed for a week & my power has gone off probably at least half a dozen times. I never had this happen with the old meter, & as far as your explaination of the old meters being gear driven & being gummed up & running slow, I personally do not buy that. The old meters are a seald unit as well & have been in use for decades.

    Personally this is just a money grab from the power company so they don’t have to go before the regulatory board & ask for an increase in rates.

  • 21 June 2010 at 7:52 am
    Kris said:

    We recently had one of these Smart Meters installed on our home and suddenly, somehow, I am now using about double and quarter as much power as I have ever used in my house in the month of June. Oh, and the month isn’t over! The rate system seems straight forward, and we began reducing our peak time usage months ago in anticipation. We also removed some high power consumption items in our house, CRT monitors, pool pump, and yet we have already exceeded our historical usage for the month of June by more than double. I can’t afford this kind of increase! I have not increased my power consumption and have in fact reduced it. What do I do?

  • 4 August 2010 at 8:31 pm
    Tony said:

    Perhaps MIke can explain to everyone if their smart meters are sampling the voltage before doing the calculation,
    multiplying the result and then sending it “wirelessly”. To me that sounds like a lot of variables. Most smart meters
    do not sample the voltage and work off of a nominal calculation ie: 120volt or 240volt. If anyone has put a multimeter
    across their panel 9 times out of 10 the voltage will read about 230-232 instead of 240. This would mean that on the
    average annual consumption of about 14,000 KWh the error would result in an over charge of about $75. It’s not much
    but try getting that money back. It must be nice running a monopoly! Oh and one more thing the average cost for
    conventional generation in this province is about 1 cent / KWh!!??

  • 17 August 2010 at 12:05 pm
    Kerri said:

    I live in the Durham region in a townhouse that is about 32 years old and has baseboard heaters. But we have new windows. Now when I got my hydro bill back in August of last year and it was over $800 for 3 months, I almost choked. I thought well if this is how much it is in the nice weather what am I going to do in the winter. We got a gas fireplace so that we wouldn’t have to use the baseboards. Well as the months went by and we got another bill that was 800.00+ I didn’t understand since we had a smart meter and we were being vary carful when we used the washer/dryer, dish washer etc. I spoke to the hydro guy and his explanation for the high bills was because we have baseboard heaters and the “Smart Meter’s wouldn’t be turned on until December of this year (it was installed early last year). When I told him that we didn’t even turn them on he didn’t have an explanation, other than there were other people like me in certain “pockets” getting enormous bills. Well I got another 800.00+ bill in May. I tried to speak to someone at the Hydro company to test my energy consumption but was told that we would have to pay an outside company to check this. They didn’t even tell me about the “dispute Test” that Mike mentioned. I just keep paying the bill because well we all know what happens when you don’t. I just got a new bill yesterday and low and behold my bill was just over $400.00 dollars and I have had my “window shakers” on for the last month or so. So if I am using more power then how the does my bill go down by half.

  • 18 August 2010 at 1:30 am
    marko said:

    it is a scam thats all. how gov and hyrdo got to get $$$$ some how. now I would like to know how many pople r up from 10pm to 7am besides my self. you will save $$ that is not much

  • 25 August 2010 at 6:39 pm
    Ellie said:

    I too have had a smart meter installed and my usage has gone up from 24 kWh per day last July to 62 kWh per day this July. I have not had any changes in my usage, I don’t have an air conditioner , I use normal electricity and my bills for two people living in a 1200 sq. foot home are now $250-$280 per month. I just can’t afford that kind of hydro bill…I’m going to call hydro tomorrow and demand that they change out the meter…any suggestions?

  • 16 September 2010 at 9:49 am
    Len said:

    I compared my consumption with same period in 2009 and noticed a 25% increase.
    I called Tornto Hydro and was told my Bill would naturally increase with TOD billing.
    I had great difficulty in explaining it was the consumption that I was concerned about.
    Especially as there was only 1 occupant in the House for 1/3 of the Billing period.
    Toronto Hydro’s solution was ” do a breaker test ” when I asked for a ” Bench test ” I was told there would be a charge for that.

  • 16 September 2010 at 6:54 pm
    X said:

    Don’t blame the utilities for this plan. All 110 utilities or LDC’s are forced to install these. Your premier and his band of clowns cooked this up. this entire operation was put in place in efforts of reducing peak demand on the Generation system . This was to prevent building new power plants. It won’t work. It is also called forced conservation.
    Testing Meters There is no charge to ask for the utility to test your meter. it is done at site and if you want to witness it you can. If you want a Dispute test from Measurement Canada just call them . There is no charge . they will order the utility involved to remove your meter ,put in a new one and send your meter to them. You can even go to the Measurement Canada Lab to witness their test!
    Read your meter every day and keep a log of it.

  • 17 September 2010 at 8:52 am
    King Rosales (author) said:

    @X, thank you for taking the time to this system. I am going to do some research about a Dispute Test from Measurement Canada and write a post about it because I think it will be valuable.
    In the meantime, I do agree, its important to keep a log of your energy meter – its sometihing you can start doing right away.

    Thank you to everyone posting comments. If you’re new to this blog, leave a comment and subscribe to our blog by clicking this link: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=OptimumEnergy

    Also, become a fan of our facebook fan page! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Optimum-Energy-Products-Ltd/352292666422

  • 22 September 2010 at 10:29 am
    Marilyn said:

    Ok I have had the same problems. I would normally get a hydro bill every 2 months that would be $180-$275. depending on what month(summer months would be the highest)
    So now we are on the smart meter and I am now billed monthly.
    July’s bill comes and it $275.00 for one month.
    August bill comes and it’s 275.00 for one month,Of course I have been calling them and getting no explanation.
    On further examination I see I am paying a total of $150.00 a month for delivery charge, tax on delivery, past dedt repayment, tax on repayment, and HST on the whole bill????? So the actual hydro I used was $125.00. So I contacted them and said 3 months ago I was paying all those charges at the same cost bimonthly. So I think you should be divided those cost by half as you are now billing me monthly.I could hear the man laughing at the other end of the phone. I said I didn’t think it was funny at all. He then told me he no longer was able to help me and transferred me to a non English speaking person. So I called back and spoke to another Hydro person and was told the government has approved these charges monthly and there was nothing I could do but be a good customer and keep paying my bills on time.
    Marilyn

  • 23 September 2010 at 3:55 pm
    King Rosales (author) said:

    Thanks for all the comments everyone. I have a question: How many of you are getting up extra early to cook your eggs? Here’s something I read from the Financial Post about the estimated total price tag of $10 Billion to force smart meters on Ontarians: http://www.financialpost.com/frying+your+eggs/3544067/story.html

  • 9 October 2010 at 1:15 pm
    M.A. MacLean said:

    My 88 year old mother and I have been homeless since last January, and staying with relatives. We had a house in the Kawartha Lakes, less than 20 years old when we bought it. For the first six months we lived there, our hydro bills were around $70/mo. We had a brand new Energy Star washer and dryer, most light bulbs were switched to CFL’s, and we had Geo Thermal heating and cooling. A “Smart Meter” was installed, and the next 2 bills I received were almost $400 each, and then I received a bill for $800. This came in June when we weren’t using any heating or cooling.

    When I contacted hydro, the woman I spoke to hung up on me when I asked for an explanation of the charges. She just kept telling me that everything I needed to know was printed on my bill. I pursued the issue for months and was given some truly outrageous explanations , such as, everyone who uses Geo Thermal heating and cooling pays at least $1,000/mo. for hydro, even when the system is brand new. Well, we spent over $1,000 having the Geo Thermal system checked and re-charged so that it was running at optimum efficiency and there was no change in the hydro bills. And again, the charges were still out of this world when the system wasn’t even in use.

    My mother and I are both on fixed incomes and simply couldn’t afford to keep up with the hydro bills, so we had no choice but to sell the house at a huge loss, so we’ve been completely wiped out financially, and we still owe money to hydro.

    At the time we bought the house and I set up the new account with hydro, I asked what the previous owners had paid for hydro, on average. I was told that it was a “Privacy Issue” and they couldn’t disclose that information. Yet, when the problem with the “Smart Meter” came up, I was told that they were also basing part of our charges on the previous owner’s usage! I was also told over and over again that hydro’s equipment never fails and is never wrong, although they did switch out the “Smart Meter” for a differnt brand, and months later told me that indeed there had been an issue with the original one – it hadn’t been set to zero when it was installed, so we had been charged for KwH that were already recorded from wherever it had been previously.

    Since the passing of the Green Energy Act, when we were selling the house I had to be able to give any prospective buyer an estimate of our monthly hydro cost. I was finally told by someone in Hydro’s head office in Toronto to give the figure of $375/mo., which we did. Very, very nice couple bought the house, but I heard just last week that the issue is still on-going with them, they received a bill for $3,800 + for ONE MONTH, and they’re now in the process of switching the house over to completely solar power. Fortunately they’re in a financial position to be able to do that. I certainly would have liked to also.

    As for old style meters slowing down and gumming up, exactly how old is old? My parents lived in the same house in Toronto for 45 years and it was still the original meter when that house was sold in 2000.

    I come from a family of engineers, and frankly, when I hear something like “our equipment never fails, it’s always right and we’ve never had a complaint” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But after what happened to us, and what’s now going on across the province, I think it’s time for a class action suit against hydro and I’ll be the first one to sign up. As someone said to me recently, what have I got to lose, we’ve already lost everything.

  • 13 October 2010 at 9:29 am
    Babs said:

    A class action suit against Ontario Hydro sounds good…where can I sign up?

  • 15 October 2010 at 6:41 am
    deb said:

    I think your onto something and I will sign up as well. I have jumped through every hoop possible with energystar and hydro to the tune of over 15,000.00 all new appliances, furnace, water heater, ac, light bulbs, dual flush toilets, water/energy saving kits (don’t forget all the 3rd party people you have to pay to do the tests) , the rating on my home was 70% which I was told was great for the age of the house. And where is my savings I was told I would have. Well folks my budget was 155.00 (before installing all this terrific energy stuff) , than 240.00 last year and now 312.00 per month. I do have a smart meter (March 2010) and as I was told it will not start to charge until they have worked out the bugs, they say April 2011. I say liars, take a look at my bills and you are using the smart meter to take a reading. I am using my home the same way I have for over 17 yrs and have went to all this energy saving crap without so much as a penny saved, but let’s double the bill. I would also like to know as I purchased two meters to check all this great energystar junk, how do you go from everything on and everyone using stuff with a low reading to nothing on and everyone sleeping to a high reading …usual explanation, that is when all your pumps,fans, and whatever circulates…is there a school for stupid because I must have missed the classes. We are being bullied into a program that dosen’t work and has cost the taxpayers and astounding amount just to give ourselves taxpayers astounding bills… this is a utility that is needed it’s not like you can say sorry don’t want it, shut it down….what about the recession businesses going under, people losing homes that sit empty….who pays for this stuff as they can’t very well shut it down as old man winter is coming. I was also informed that there is a loss of energy (which the taxpayer eats) on wires/ transformers are these too old and shouldn’t they be replaced to energystar by the owners Ontario Hydro (where debt came from) (old owners) London Hydro (where debt retirement came from) (new owners) = Government (hands in your pockets)(real owners) and how much is this loss over say a month? And by the way when will that debt retirement be paid???

  • 2 February 2011 at 8:04 pm
    Theresa said:

    Wow… looks like I am not the only one in this sinking boat. I also am energy concious and I too had geo thermal instaled. Just as I had it installed, the smart meter was activated. I use to pay $97 a month for hydro in 2005 with two occupants. I now pay $240 a month and I live alone, and am a shift worker. I use most of my hydro on off peak, but as I reveiw these bills, my actual use is less than my delivery charge plus HST and debt retirement charge!! So if I have use $100 a month of hydro, you can be sure it will cost me at least $150 for extras… like delivery. I have spoken to Ontario Hydro so many times.. and like many of you, they kept telling me the meter was right and they flatly refused to check it. I was so frustrated with them, that I reported this case to the Ontario Ombudsman. She was very helpful, as she called Ontario Hydro and now they are comming to check the meter. The Ombudsman cannot do much to force them to change their attitude but they are monitoring Ontario Ones actions, concerning peoples issues. You need to call them or email them with your concerns!! They need to hear from you, so that something can be done. You can also complain to the Ontario energy board regarding delivery rates. I intend to do just that. I also am considering hiring a lawyer, as I feel that not all of Ontarions are paying equal delivery charges and I feel that I am being discriminated for living in a high residential area instead of urban where the costs are lower… what with that!! are we not all tax payers!!

  • 6 February 2011 at 6:53 pm
    jaime said:

    Solar panels….We need to take a stand and become more self sufficient and I think we should be using the resources that are right in front of our faces the sun and the wind! We are spoiled and being taken advantage of!! We need to get away from the electric companies they are ripping us off and there is nothing we can do about it, delivery charges? debt retirement charges? blah blah blah by the time i’m done reading all my charges I then realize that i have used less electricity than the delivery charge???!!!!! How does that make any sense?? F**** the electric companies and the GOVERMENT those mind controlling bastards! SOLAR AND WIND POWERED,

  • 7 February 2011 at 9:20 am
    Sonia said:

    I would like to thank Theresa for the added information to deal with hydro one complains relating to your hydro bill. I too have a Geothermal unit, which is two years old, my bill would be anywhere from 40 to 60 dollars in the summer and in the winter months, from 200 to 250 dollars. The highest bill I ever paid was $600 and that was the first day we moved into the house. Last year I sent an email to hydro asking for an explanation as to why the bill has double since the smart meter went in, I got a lame respond back. This morning I phoned hydro because my bill is $256.19, I would not have questioned this bill but here is the kicker, the house was vacant for the month of December, so I asked the lady in customer service, how can this be, because this is the highest bill I have ever received so far, its even higher than when I am at home using all sorts of electricity, I do not have to tell you all her lame excuses because its no different to what everyone else have be saying.

  • 9 February 2011 at 6:26 pm
    Kerrie said:

    I dont know whether to feel more outraged or relieved to find out that there are more people out there being raped by Hydro One. I currently received a hyrdo bill for $700 for my 63 day cycle. I work minimum wage, this bill is half my monthly income! Now how the hell can they consider that a neccessity? We only heat two rooms in our entire home all the time and its not like its 80 degrees. I am just so angry with every person lining their pockets with the money I work hard for. When I received this bill, it made me think, what do I pay first, rent or hydro? What Hydro is doing is not right and something definitely needs to be done before things spiral completely out of control. I am tired of this modern cycle of the rich get richer and the poor- poorer…while the government sits silently in the background lining their pockets as they watch us suffer. I am completely frustrated and fed up! I am going to try to make a change because someone has to…

  • 15 February 2011 at 4:55 am
    michael bryson said:

    Well Im glad Im not the only one. I shut down my cottage in Nov. 2010. I insulated a very small room where my water softner is and installed a new 250 watt heater and new thermostate. I shut every breaker except one going to the heater. My bills are $230.00 per month on average. Several calls to Hydro one. Same excuses as the rest of you. I was told to cal. my bill by taking my 250 watt heater and x24×30devided by 1000 x .17 and if the heater was running all day that should be my total. Its double what it should be and than some. It should be $30.6 if it never shut down. Im not sure what to do or who to call to get a new meter and my money back. I finally shut off the breaker completely and will take my chances on repairing my water system.
    Frustrated in Haliburton

  • 15 February 2011 at 12:37 pm
    tom andersen said:

    I just got the notice that my time of day smart meter will soon be active, and is in fact already sending hourly usage data to hydro one.

    So I log into the site, download the excel spreadsheets for hourly usage, and find that on every single day, the smart meter shows exactly 12% MORE usage than my Ted 5000 (which is a whole home energy usage monitor).

    The TED 5000 is a nice unit, and shows real true power usage, has a nice web display, etc.

    I have had the smart meter in for about 24 months, so if I can prove they are overcharging by 12%, I can get about $800 back! (We are in the country and on geothermal – everything electric).

    How on earth is a ‘normal’ person supposed to figure this out? I am an engineer, and look at energy conservation as a hobby/interest. The Ted 5000 is a $300 unit, plus has to be installed by an electrician.

    Hydro one and Measurement Canada need to do an audit on these things – take a random sample of 200 meters and find out how much they are ripping us off for.

    Its useless to have to go after them one by one, when the average person has neither the equipment nor the expertise to tell how much of this invisible stuff we are consuming.

    Tom Andersen

  • 15 February 2011 at 1:59 pm
    tom andersen said:

    Michael,

    You say you bought a 250 W heater? That is a small heater, and for instance the heaters I look at at canadian tire.ca have 750W on low and 1500W on high, usually.

    You can replace the heater with two 60W light bulbs (get the long lived ones) installed away from any wall, etc in a sturdy, simple fixture. You need two in case one burns out.

    If you are on a smart meter, you can then log in to see if your lights are turned on or not. That would only be less than $10 per month of electricity, plus all the connection stuff they load on, etc.

  • 16 February 2011 at 10:37 am
    H said:

    I too am experiencing otally unresonable hydro rates. Our meter was changed from a old meter to a smart meter on August 5, 2009. Our utility company in Embrun Coopérative, not Hydro One. Our house was built in 2008, 1600 square feet, is high efficiency gas heated and gas hot water. The only things electric are the range and the dryer, and I recently changed the dryer last week to a gas dryer. We rare 3 occupants.

    On some comparitive 2 month billing periods between the old meter and the new meter, the usage has grown when they changed the meter from 50 to 60%. Unbelivable. Called Embrun Hydro and was told to call Measurement Canada, nothingg else. No offer to come and check the meter or anything.

    I checked with my neighbgours. They have gas heat and gas hot water and are all houses less than 5 years old. One a bungalow with 2 people gets an average bill of $50 to $60 a month. The other a 2 storey 2400 square feet house gets an average usage of 2000 kw per 2 months. They have 3 kids. The kicker about the second house is that they run a hair salon and their usage is lower than ours!!!. We average usage of betwee 2400 and 3000 KW per 2 months since the new meter has been installed, even druing the winter months. Unbelivable!!! Everyone around our area is on smart meters but the smart rates are not active yet. We are still on tiered rates. We were paying 175 per month on equal billing and have an outstanding balance of over $650.00. We should be making up the difference now as our usage should typically be lower during the winter months but we are actually getting a bigger deficit.

    I put a complaint in with Measurement Canada on Jan 5th. I took a reading on Feb 1 and then again this morning. Mysteriously (sarcasm) the usage since February is back to more normal levels of 380 kw sice the beginning of the month which should come out to aprroximately 850 kw for February. It’s funny how that is. And when you combine that with the fact that I saw some footprints in the snow that were not from any of us, this makes me think that Embrun Hydro has come and repaired something with the meter after the complaint was made. I don’t trust them and I am starting to think that they came to fix it because a test of the meter will be done soon by Measurement Canada following my complaint.

    We want the money they owe us back!! There is no way that $175 per month should not be sufficient for a energy efficient home, where heat, hot water and now the dryer are gas!! It should be more around 100 and less per month equal billing.

    I will let you know what happens once I get the test results. I have asked to be present for the test.

    I am not challenging the rates, what I am challenging is the usage measurement.

  • 18 February 2011 at 7:50 am
    charles cliche said:

    Hi i live in laurention vally in a mobile home, My hydro bill for jan. $342.00 and we do laundry on the weekend to save on hydro,all we have runing is your normul frige ,stove , hotwatertank,watersofner,a cable to keep the well from freezing,and oilfurnes,i compared my bill with pople that owen a farm they use a welder and what not and there bill is $20.00 less than mine,I’m on a fixed income, when will hydro one give use a break.

  • 20 March 2011 at 1:48 pm
    Suzanne A. Foley-Ferguson said:

    I have been involved with the state of Maine’s smart meter complaint to the PUC all winter long and have learned a lot in technical conferences with the utility and their consultants. After reading this discussion of theories about why the new smart meters are recording higher usage, I have some comments. Our utility CMP also said that the meters are more sensitive so that right now the analog meters would likely not record if a light was plugged in but turned off. A new smart meter would record that it was plugged in. More sensitive? More money. I do believe that. However, I do not buy this as the sole argument for all of those folks with 30-40% higher bills. Here’s what I’ve learned: your meter transfers data from a whole bunch of other meters all the time – a neighborhood mesh (NAN) Some more than others. We speculated that our meters would record that energy usage for the data transfer of all of the NAN meters. Our utility says that the energy used is transferred to your neighbor’s “packets”. I don’t buy that. I don’t think that if my meter was transferring up to 15,000 packets per day (note: that would be an end unit meter/…ie one near a utility repeater pole)… that my meter would not show energy usage charged to me. In our theory, then, houses that are end meters would see larger increases. (Somehow I want to prove this!) When meters were tested by Structure at PG&E, they were not tested when transmitting all of the mesh info and data – only tested as individual meters, not as a part of a mesh. It’s the mesh part that’s screwing us all up. Part II of this is that your meter, when not transmitting is still sending out a “beacon” signal to make sure that it is still in the network (verified by an IEEE report – but denied by our utility… they know so little!) So… when it is beaconing… energy has to be being used. Part III – I am still convinced that this mesh technology is so new that they cannot even tell if your meter is being charged for your neighbor’s usage…we need more experiments… Something is not right. I think it’s the whole wireless interference and that the technology isn’t yet MATURE!!! Everybody keep on keeping on! Don’t stop trying to figure it out. Something is not right.

  • 24 March 2011 at 2:19 am
    P MacMillan said:

    I can understand why everyone is upset with the new Smart Meters here in Ontario. I live in an 800sqft house and there is only me here. So when I received a bill this month for $2,265.13 for 61days I almost had a heart-attack. You see I am retired and never in 4 years that I have lived in my home have I ever received a bill like that! Even when my home was under remodelling and I was using construction heaters to heat my home my bills were never that high. Now that the remodelling is finished on my home and a brand new furnance is installed in 2009 and all the windows,doors,roofing have been replaced in 2009 even new vinyl siding was put on the house in 2009 ( when all this work was going on we found out my walls were 6″ thick with insulation and the insulation was replaced and now at a R40 all the floors are insulated and heating ducts are clear and hotwater pipes and hot water tank are wrapped and brand new in 2009 Insulation was even blown into the attic and all cracks were foam sealed. In-fact after doing an energy loss test it was found that I had no engery was lost by windows,doors or basement or attic. So I can not understand Hydro One’s Smart Meter overcharging. When during the same period in winter of 2009-2010 I only used 147kw over 61 days and that winter was far colder than this winter up here. Now I am seeing my MPP for this region to have something done about Hydro One’s Smart Meter overcharging.

  • 25 March 2011 at 11:03 am
    Empty Pockets Malone said:

    Wow, reading this all has me truly TRULY discouraged, were helpless, we really are!
    There are some of you whos story has me sick to my stomach, and others who I envy..
    IE)
    I would love to see a 250 $ energy bill for a month !!!
    I would be over joyed !

    Since December ( on a year where we’ve had a mild winter ) our average energy bill has been 575 $ ( this is not an embellishment )

    We saw some heating contractors and were convinced to move to a loop system geo thermal heat pump, Now that I have read your posts it seems like 1/3 of the people complaining already have a geo thermal system.

    Imagine us ( pay check to pay check ) thinking that an 18500 $ heating / cooling system is the answer to our problems, go ahead and find a way to pay for this system only to MAYBE see our monthly bill drop by … what 50 – 90 bucks ?
    I would seriously be suicidal, I mean try to finance a 18000 loan AND pay a 450 $ hydro bill …

    So luckily, i live on the Ont ./ Que border and have the option to move to another provice, where i guess I will sacrifice friendly neighbors for being able to afford the cost of living.

  • 7 April 2011 at 2:04 pm
    @Meela312 said:

    Great article, investigative effort and PR response by King. No follow up response from Mr. Mike after all the posts since May 2010. Keep fighting your fight Smart Meter customers. Hope there is resolve.

  • 8 April 2011 at 1:59 pm
    LIsa said:

    I can’t believe what I am reading here. I received my hydro one bill today for the cottage and even though we have it closed from Oct. – April (we leave a lamp on a timer for security), they are billing us $600 for the Dec. – March period! The customer service rep didn’t get the coincidence that the smart meter billing kicked in on the first day of the new bill!!!!

    Can someone please tell me what to do? We go out there once a month and turn on a couple of baseboards fo 2 -3 hours but other than that everything is shut down. The bill says we used 2620 kWh for the three months which is more than our residence (4 bdrm two storey). We’ve never seen anything like this in the 3 years we have owned the cottage.

    Also, how does Hydo One get away with chargeing 4x the delivery charge of our local Public Utility??? How do people live if Hydro One is the only option for electicity?

  • 8 April 2011 at 2:03 pm
    King Rosales (author) said:

    HI Lisa,
    Its likely that you may have phantom loads. One way to monitor this is by installing a power meter like the TED 5000 then monitor it when you’re away from your cottage during those months. Basically, thats what the smart meters do; they have higher costs during the peak periods, by using electronic devices during the peak times, energy costs can go up to 4x as much as low times like at midnight.
    If you need help selecting a home power meter device, you can give us a call toll free at 1.877.766.5412
    thanks Lisa

  • 13 April 2011 at 1:24 pm
    mark kozik said:

    I live in Keswick ON and when my smart meter was first installed in march of 2010 my bills were coming in as credits. They caught on very quickly and returned to replace the meter.
    My normal hydro bill was around $100 a month before the smart meter was installed.
    I have a gas stove, gas dryer, gas fireplace, gas furnace and gas tankless water heater.
    Lightbulbs were changed to cfl’s. My new hydro one bills are now $500 to $800 monthly.
    My daily average consumption went from around 25-45kwh to as high as 187kwh now.
    Hydro one blew me off as with everyone else and gave me no explanation with the increase. They also flat out refused to check the meter.My bills show months were I have used zero kwh then months that are outragous numbers (actual – estimate = 5600kwh) was the largest. That bill was around $1500.00.
    I have been taking daily logs and am definately getting a TED5000 to verify.
    This is definately a SCAM and now there talking about another rate increase.
    Get educated and stand up to these crooks.

    Mark Kozik

  • 18 April 2011 at 11:01 pm
    Donna said:

    I have to tell you that when I opened the Hydro bill today I was and still am physically sickened. Our usage from last year to this year is about the same, however they have just increased our monthly equal billing to a whopping 640.00 per month. that is double what we were paying. The hydro bill is a constant source of tension in my house, we use the laundry at night after nine, as well as keep the temperature down it can get chilly indoors at times, try to shower after nine, doing everything we are told to do to reduce our bill, and it doubled. What I want to know is if everyone is so enraged as I know they are, then why cant we work together to stop this robbery? There is an election coming up, correct? We are the taxpayers correct? and Hydro One is Government owned as far as I know, so anybody please tell me what we can do together? It seems that everyone is having the same problem, nobody can afford the bills as such, people are talking lawyers and ombudsmen, but a single voice is not being heard here, it sounds like they need to hear the voices of the thousands that are being raped. Anyone know what to do? I am more than willing to help.

  • 24 April 2011 at 4:59 pm
    Grace said:

    Can someone tell me if smart meter installation is an avoidable. What will happen if I do not let them install it ? Can I do this.

  • 4 May 2011 at 8:55 am
    TED5000.ca – Featured in SAB Homes Magazine said:

    [...] were installed, is enough to get the majority of people concerned. But, at the end of the day, Smart meters are not going away – they were designed to help energy providers charge their customers more [...]

  • 14 May 2011 at 5:25 pm
    Hank Keyzers said:

    In your excellent explanation you state that the readings are transmitted wirelessly hourly to Hydro One (or a utility).
    Are they indeed transmitted wirelessly or transmitted over the utilities’ powerlines?

    PS. Years ago Hydro transmitted over the wires to control hotwater tanks.

    Do you know if these readings can be intercepted?
    Reason: according to some newspapers and blogs many of these meter readings appear too high and I would like to verify/calibrate our consumption.

  • 16 May 2011 at 9:14 am
    King Rosales (author) said:

    Hi Hank,

    That is an excellent question!

    To confirm for you, I just called Hydro One and was very pleased to get a helpful customer service representative that answered all my questions.

    This is what I learned:
    Their smart meters transmit data wirelessly (technology was unknown). The data is transmitted from collector to collector using repeaters and then all the meter data is sent to the meter data manager repository. Every meter in the system has its own unique identifier and the data is encrypted so its virtually impossible to have the possibility that someone could tamper with your readings.
    (Here’s a link to an illustration on Hydro One’s website: http://www.hydroone.com/MyHome/MyAccount/MyMeter/Pages/AutomatedMeterReading.aspx)

    Of course I don’t work for Hydro One, so if you’re interested in getting more technical information, I do recommend contacting them directly, here’s their number:
    1-888-664-9376. You can also visit their website contact page here: http://www.hydroone.com/OurCompany/Pages/Contacts.aspx

    When I was listening to Hydro One’s phone system options, it did have options where I could listen to energy saving tips and even get a brochure.

    As far as verifying your data, I can tell you that the TED 5000 is an excellent device that can help you do that since it supports tier-billing or Time Of Use Billing configuration. Alternatively, you can get a revenue grade meter to give you higher accuracy such as the IMS Mini Meter or Acuvim IIR.

    As always, if you have any more questions, feel free to give us a shout toll free at 1.877.766.5412

  • 16 June 2011 at 12:16 pm
    Daggy said:

    Hi,

    reading all your comments makes me anxious to receive my first bill. We had a smart meter installed some time ago but apparantly will be billed starting this month. However, I noticed that while the smart reader is counting electricity the clock is not set-up. So I am wondering how Hydro One will know how much I use at what time if the clock is not working.
    Has anyone encoutered the same problem? Should I let them know about this?

  • 15 August 2011 at 3:18 pm
    Steve said:

    Useful info on those smart meters. Thank you.

    Energy/Telecom same rip off businesses

    Energy rates in Arizona are a total rip off. Summer is currently quite hot, bills burning our budget.

    Feeling that those companies operating down here, one has

    Upon our usage, within 100% latest generation appliances, cooling VERY moderately on daytime and set at 83 during night with no TV, two adults, no dishwasher, no water heater as water is really hot enough, no dryer use bring bill near to $200, I plan to install a home panel monitor usage check device to make sure we really pay for what we really use. I feel those KWh are not reflecting accurate consumption but more likely to benefit these energy companies.

    Two properties one using SRP the second one with APS both with so called smart meters proved to show quite significant bill issues. APS bill is subject to questioning when SRP seems to be more accurate upon usage. I will not recommend APS and will perform some further check on APS meter as I do not trust their bills at all. Guess we are not alone.

  • 2 October 2011 at 9:57 pm
    Lori said:

    I recently viewed our usage on the Hydro One website, where you can view by the hour. I was shocked to see that on Sept 4 2011 from 1am to 11am my usage ranged from 2.5 to 4 kwh each hour (fluctuating up and down). Odd thing is … at 1am on Sept 4th my husband and I were in our barn and witnessed a lightning strike hit the transformer at the road and after a huge shower of blue sparks the transformer was in pieces and everything was jet black. We were completely without power until the hydro crew came at 11am the next morning and put a new transformer in.
    We had no hydro for 10 hours yet the smart meter recorded useage, varying, each and every hour we were without.
    Can anyone explain this ???
    FYI we live just out of arnprior, rural, and our MONTHLY bill averages $600 PER MONTH !!! w/ the new smart meter. It was $225 to $275 before the smart meters. We do not have animals, do not run hydro in the out buildings, use an oil furnace, and do not have air conditioning.

    HOW DO WE HAVE USAGE ON THE SMART METER WHEN THE HYDRO IS OUT ?

  • 5 October 2011 at 11:15 am
    derek said:

    My electricity consumption (actual Kwh used) noticeably jumped after the Smart meter was installed (Dec 2009). I had even had my furnace replaced with a new energy efficient fan motor so was expecting to see a reduction in power used! I complained to Horizon and they provide a ‘Kill A Watt’ meter (held at local libraries!) to check my own usage. I have meticulously checked with this device and find that my consumption is about 12 – 18% LESS than the smart meter measures! Now the only explanation I can think of is that the smart meter is based on VA and ignores the power factor which the killawatt meter does measure. For example a device is shown consuming power at 200VA (volts x amos) but only 140 W because it has a power factor of 0.7 I await Horizon’s answer on that one. In some States I see that consumers have the right to reinstall analogue meters … hmm.
    A power monitor such as TED 5000 sounds a great idea! Horizon said that i can have the meter tested (by them “independently”!) but if it proves accurate i will be charged of course.
    I must phone the Liberal party hack/mouthpiece now and register my complaint – if everyone did this we might see some action.

  • 15 November 2011 at 3:50 pm
    Devon said:

    I am an electricity broker in Texas, with thousands of clients — both commercial and residential.

    One of my commercial clients had his analog meter replaced earlier this year with a new “smart” meter. The first few months went by without issue, but then suddenly his monthly usage jumped from an average of 5,500kwh to over 88,000kwh. The company that manages the new new smart meter, Oncor, came out and verified the reading and tested the meter. The testing showed the meter to be correct over 99% of the time. Because of this visit and testing, Oncor said the reading was correct.

    Oncor was oblivious to the fact that it was practically impossible that a small office location of this size could use 88,000kwh in a single month. It’s more than their highest annual usage!

    Because Oncor is a monopoly in this part of Texas (DFW area), their service department has no incentive to try to right an obvious wrong. After several weeks of getting nowhere, I began to call the local TV stations, and that finally got Oncor’s attention. The meter has now been replaced by another “smart” meter, and the client’s usage for the month in question is being set to equal the previous year’s usage for that month.

    They said that although the meter is correct over 99% of the time, this meter evidently had some technical issues that caused the readings to jump dramatically.

    Luckily, this error was obvious — at least to everyone except Oncor’s service department. What happens to those electricity users that have meters that cause the readings to jump in small increments? They are still paying for more electricity than they are using, but they have no way to prove it and no one that will listen to them.

  • 21 November 2011 at 5:54 am
    janet said:

    unemployed, is there a lower cost metering system? one i could borrow? there is a bigger concern everyone should be aware of. i am amazed that i could not google complaints on wireless hydro meter health concerns. see bc hydro wireless meters, stopped by concern for their health. i have a RF detector 1ghz -6ghz. when i felt like an altitude change (ear popping pressure then building body and head pain) i turned on the RF meter to find a source to these indicators. “arthritic pains occurred”!! another time i came home to my street to the same sensation, so i walked from my house, up and down the street with the whole time the RF meter indicating the entire street was washed with this radiation. What is the harm to individuals?

    cell phones, portable phones, computer wireless devices, hydro wireless meters all work on the 2.4Ghz frequency.

    i took my RF meter during one of these pressure sensing times outside around my meter. there was no reading on the outside of the meter. no RF frequencies. inside the room where the meter is mounted to the outside wall had the beam reading through my house!! and it is at head level when sitting down on the couch!!

    so not only do we apparently have inaccurate readings, over billing then we also have wireless devices that are hackable. IP addresses, just like cell phones that can be hacked by knowledgeable techie types to increase wattage output of the devices that increase your level of Radiated output power.

    oh did i miss the point that these directional antenna’s accumulate radiated power of all the neighbours wireless units too? every meter was put in the head level outside the homes for the meter guy to read. how efficient is east, west, north and south positions of directional antenna’s? every other house has a meter facing your house? and add in the houses that have directional antenna’s facing your house not just the side but back and front? so when the 2.4 Ghz channel saturates, as it must, or signal collisions who does it hurt?

  • 23 November 2011 at 3:38 pm
    frank s said:

    I have recently had power surge and power loss after having a smart meter installed. I can no longer use my compressor on an extension cord as the start run will not start the compressor, if plugged direct is fine. My fridge runs slower until i turn a kettle on then lights get bright and fan on fridge speeds up. I have had intermittent power outages.I have had my panel box checked,its only three years old,changed the ground connector, everything is fine. most of my wiring in the house has been outdated. My neighbors are having same problems and i have a friend that lives two miles away with smart meter also having blinking lights, I can see why the bills are higher, the meter measures the surge when a demand for power, but amperage is not passing through therefore appliances with motors such as ac,fridges,dehumidifiers,pool pumps are being starved and running hot and harder drawing more power. There have been reports in texas and other states of fires, ruined appliances, this is criminal and needs to be investigated i am tired of getting screwed by gov. incompetence and its time to take them to court, what ever happened to gov. for the people by the people?

  • 25 January 2012 at 12:57 pm
    PG&E Gives 98,000 Customers Options to Install or Remove Smart Meters? said:

    [...] Smart Meter controversy has continued to evolve and PG&E doesn’t seem it will be escaping the [...]

  • 27 January 2012 at 11:46 am
    Bill said:

    Perhaps Knox can explain the following statement:

    3. Old mechanical meters ALWAYS fail slow, never fast. They are a bunch of mechanical gears and wheels which gum up over time. There is a remote possibility that some of the old meters were running slowly and when replaced with a new, accurate electronic meter would make the customers bill “go up” to where it should have been all along.

    Last time i looked the mechanical components of a meter were in a sealed housing, so not sure how they can get gummed up.

    Anyways having said that. My past history and consumption along with various energy conservation initiatives (CFL’s, T8, replacing CRT devices with LED/LCD etc) and no changes in occupancy or usage habits, led me to believe i am being overbilled. Hence i purchased a TED5000 device which has been in operation now for a little over 2 weeks.

    Comparing my alleged hydro usage readings to what the TED device is logging, the Hydro readings are consistently 9.5% to 11.5% higher daily. The TED device claims an accuracy of +/-2%. This falls in line with my suspicions that i am being overbilled about 8% or more per month.

    I am going to monitor this for a 30 period, at which time if the readings are consistently showing a variation of that amount am going to request a “dispute charge” with measurements canada.

    Has anyone else on here found similar discrepancies and taken this approach and what is the outcome?
    I guess i am just questioning is the TED unit as accurate as it claims?

  • 27 January 2012 at 12:31 pm
    King Rosales (author) said:

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for your comment and questions.
    The TED 5000 has an accuracy of +/- 2%. So if you measure 100kwh, it could be off by 2kwh for example.

    I tried finding the “dispute charge” link on measurements Canada, but could only find this link: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/mc-mc.nsf/eng/lm00197.html – is this what you are referring to?

    Thanks Bill

  • 29 January 2012 at 12:26 pm
    Bill said:

    Hi King;
    No thats not correct, if my TED says i am using 100kwh then hydro is saying i am using somewhere between 109 to 115 for that same period. The readings between the TED and hydro vary however they have consistently been 9.5 to 11.5% higher on a daily or hourly basis. If I took the +/-2% variation possibility into account that would mean at the worst case scenario i am still being charged 7.5% higher than what i am actually using.

    That link you had is for the Measurements canada test that i am considering having undertaken.

    Is there any way that my TED would NOT be providing accurate information? I have installed the CT’s as per instructions -power off, (led’s on the CT’s facing the right way – towards the lines on the side from the meter) .

    With 3 weeks of data now, it is still giving me similar discrepancies, with hydro always on the high side of consumption.

    Thanks

  • 29 January 2012 at 2:19 pm
    Bill said:

    Hi King;
    Read your reply wrong, thought you were asking if i was 2% above or below. I’m 9.5 to 11.5% below what hydro is saying.
    Hope that clarifies it.

  • 30 January 2012 at 9:32 am
    King Rosales (author) said:

    Hi Bill, can you call the manufacturer of the TED 5000, Energy Inc? Their technical support number is 1.800.959.5833 – from the specification sheets we have and who I’ve talked to, the TED 5000 has an accuary of 2%. These meters are designed to help you monitor your energy use. If your hydro company is saying this meter is under, I’d question that also.
    You can also buy a Revenue Grade power meter, like a Leviton Mini-Meter or an Acuvim Power meter found on PowerMeterStore.com; they have an accuracy of 0.2%
    Thanks Bill.

  • 16 July 2012 at 2:00 pm
    10 Great Applications for the TED 5000 said:

    [...] want to be able to check the accuracy of these devices. TED’s have already been used to catch utility companies over-billing end [...]