OEB pilot project gives London Hydro customers a chance to test new electricity pricing and tools

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) is exploring new ways to give residential customers greater choice in the price they pay for electricity at different times, and more tools to help them better understand and manage their electricity use.

London Hydro’s pilot is one of several across Ontario selected by the OEB as it redesigns the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) under which it sets prices that apply to more than 90 per cent of the province’s electricity customers. 

“London Hydro’s pilot will help us evaluate the impact of options that give customers greater control over their electricity costs while also helping to improve system efficiency,” says Ceiran Bishop, manager of strategic policy for the OEB. “In all, the pilot initiatives will allow the real-world experience of approximately 20,000 customers to inform how electricity is priced for RPP customers in the future – potentially unlocking more value for them and the electricity system as a whole in the process.”

Under its pilot, London Hydro is offering two year-long trial programs designed to enable customers to monitor and understand their consumption better, and to provide the convenience of remotely reducing their electricity use:

  1. Real Time will allow selected customers to use a smartphone app to monitor their electricity consumption in real-time and turn off appliances in their homes remotely. These customers will pay prevailing time-of-use prices. 
  2. Under the Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) pilot project, London Hydro will install a device on the electrical panel of selected customers’ homes, allowing the utility to remotely turn off appliances when demand is forecast to be at its highest. These customers will pay a lower off-peak price but be exposed to a higher price during these times of higher forecast demand. The CPP event only lasts for an hour and customers have the option of overriding the device as needed.

Some customers will be enrolled in both of these programs (Real Time and CPP).