Hydro One has announced that, together with Hydro One Brampton, it was poised to meet the half million mark in installing smart meters for its customers across the province. In addition to meter deployment, the company is making advances in realizing its vision of a smart grid.

In keeping with the direction of the Province of Ontario, Hydro One and Hydro One Brampton are working to install smart meters in the homes and small businesses of their combined 1.4 million customers by 2010. Smart meters, when teamed with time-of-use-pricing, are a key part of building a culture of conservation across the province and achieving significant reductions in peak electricity demand through load shifting.

"Ontario is regarded as a leader in smart metering around the world, and about 1.4 million homes and small businesses across the province already have a smart meter," said Energy Minister Gerry Phillips. "A smart grid could build on that initiative and complement the renewal taking place in Ontario's electricity sector."

"Hydro One is proud to support the province's efforts to promote a culture of conservation and we see our smart meter initiative as being critical to this effort," said Laura Formusa, president and CEO, Hydro One Inc. "Smart meters, when combined with time-of-use rates, will give our customers the opportunity to take advantage of price signals that better reflect the cost of electricity at different times of the day."

With a predominantly rural service territory, twice the size of Texas, Hydro One was faced with a significant challenge to deploy this new technology and to build a communications network to support it. Realizing it could leverage this network for multiple customer and business applications, Hydro One assembled a smart meter team comprised of Trilliant, Motorola, Capgemini, and General Electric to develop a vision for its end-to-end solution.

"Hydro One recognized the potential benefits of smart networks during the conceptual stage of its smart meter initiative," said Rick Stevens, Director, Development Strategy, Hydro One. "We have designed our system architecture to allow the layering of additional applications on top of the technology so that we can use two-way communications for emerging conservation and demand management tools, like smart thermostats and in-home displays, distribution station monitoring and automation, real-time outage management, safety monitoring, mobile work dispatch and asset security."