Hydro Prices Hurt Rural Residents With Uncommunicative Smart Meters

A Financial Post writer who researches Ontario electricity issues says many rural residents are being treated unfairly because they can’t access time of use pricing.

Parker Gallant says the smart metre system cannot communicate to all customers in rural areas like midwestern Ontario

He says cell signals are not reliable, and experts tried to tell the government that, but they pushed ahead with the program anyway. He says the program was launched without a cost benefit study,

He calls it a two tier system that leaves about 110,000 customers facing the possibility of higher rates especially in the summer when the price threshold for higher rates is lowered to 600 kilowatts.  Gallant is trying to figure out exactly how many people are affected by the glitch.

He says a preliminary assessment by hydro one determined it would cost over $500-million to bring remaining customers on line.

He plans to gather the information, and bring it to the attention of the Ontario Energy Board.

He says the province has introduced two new bills, Bill 112 and Bill 135, that will take power form the Ontario Energy Board and the Independent Electricity System Operator, and put more power into the hands of politicians.