Smart Grid News

Blog, Environment, Les Routledge

The right combo of gadget and pricing plan helped people cut peak household energy use up to 57 percent.   Grist

I wonder if the CRTC and the incumbent ISP’s who are pursuing UBB practices will consider this evolution towards time-of-use smart metering and rates?

Representatives from Bell have argued that UBB practices are necessary to manage congestion on their networks.  If congestion is the problem, then the experience in other sectors (roads, electricity, water) is that time-of-use metering and usage fees can shift demand to off-peak periods and thus reduce congestion.

Implementing UBB together with pricing that varies depending on time of day or level of congestion in the network could offer a win-win for both consumers and providers.  Consumers could benefit if they could shift network usage to low cost, off-peak periods.  Providers could benefit by shifting demand to off-peak periods, thereby increasing the utilization of their existing infrastructure and potentially deferring investments in capacity upgrades to the future.

In the electrical utility sector, the combination of smart grids, intelligent meters, and time-of-use rates creates an interesting possibility for a future that could include a more distributed energy model of power production.  Creating a dynamic, real-time market for the sale and purchase of power might offer an interesting alternative to the use of Feed-in-Tariffs for integrating distributed or renewable power production into the grid.  It could also play a role in the two way trading of energy between electric vehicles and the electrical grid.