Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/9/2014 (1014 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The article “No Plans Yet For Wider Use Of Digital Smart Power Meters” (Winnipeg Free Press, Sept. 8) attributes to Scott Powell of Manitoba Hydro the statement, “The increased use of smart meters is for the most part taking place in jurisdictions that also have time-of-use billing, a practice intended to encourage customers to reduce power use during periods when electricity is more expensive” and then, “Manitoba does not have time-of-use billing.”
The obvious question is, why not? After all, the Public Utilities Board has been encouraging it for eight years now.
With Manitoba Hydro determined to advance its export-oriented expansion plan with its consequential exorbitant domestic rate increases, time-of-use billing would provide the opportunity for relief for consumers who will be hardest and unfairly hit by the increasing costs of electricity.
It is disappointing to encounter the pessimism of Manitoba Hydro in this article where forward thinking seems to be minimal. No wonder the PUB recommended in its recent report on Hydro’s plans that “Manitoba Hydro be divested of Demand Side Management (DSM) responsibilities and the Government of Manitoba establish an independent arm’s-length entity to deliver government-mandated DSM targets.” Time-of-use billing falls under DSM.
The “independent arm’s-length entity” would be wise to explore the offerings of leading utilities, such as PG&E in California, that have rate plans the customer can choose, including a tiered base plan, time-of-use plan, electric vehicle base plan, smart rate add-on and net energy metering add-on. The net energy metering add-on is interesting in that it allows customers with their own eligible generator such as solar panels to earn credit for power export to the grid.
We plead with Manitoba Hydro and its NDP masters to come into the 21st century and stop living in the glories of the past.