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