The Power of Smart Metering

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Capgemini Teams with Hydro One to Meet Aggressive Energy Conservation Goals.

“ We are implementing the most capable AMR solution ever deployed to more than one million meters. ”Rick Stevens, Director, Development Strategies, Hydro One Networks Inc.

The Situation

Hydro One Networks Inc., wholly owned by the province of Ontario, delivers electricity to 1.3 million end-users, municipal utilities and large industries.

To meet the growing needs of the province, Ontario must build an almost entirely new electricity system by 2025. Estimates show that over the next 20 years, Ontario will need to refurbish, rebuild, replace or conserve 25,000 megawatts of generating capacity -more than 80 percent of Ontario’s current electricity generating capacity- at an estimated cost of $70 billion CAD.

Building new generation sources for electricity is only part of the answer. There are tremendous opportunities to reduce the supply-demand gap through a shift in when electricity is used by consumers.

By introducing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and time-of-use (TOU) rates -charging higher rates during peak demand hours and lower rates at night and other off-peak times when there is a surplus of electric generation capacity- consumers will have an incentive to shift their consumption patterns in terms of when and how they use electricity.

For Ontario, this new infrastructure will provide a foundation for achieving more than a five percent reduction in provincial demand through load shifting, energy savings and price awareness.

The Solution

Taking the utility leadership role in advancing this technology and supporting the provincial government’s goal to have a smart meter in every Ontario home and small business, Hydro One compiled a dedicated team, beginning in 2005, by developing and testing the processes, tools and network infrastructure to support the mass deployment of unified, AMI-enabled smart meters in 2007 through 2010.

The mission statement and description for the project was to deploy a smart metering/network solution that meets the Ministry of Energy’s requirements at the lowest possible cost and to be an enabler for other business processes and transformations. Objectives were to:

  • Deploy smart meters across the residential and small commercial customer base
  • Build enabling communications network and infrastructure
  • Develop and test regulated price plan (RPP) and TOU billing, including Ontario Energy Board (OEB) mandated billing data links with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) by 2008.

In addition to meeting the requirements laid out by the OEB, Hydro One also set an objective for its AMI project to deploy a platform that could enable a broad range of new initiatives that will extend beyond basic automated meter reading for billing purposes.

Capgemini, an integral part of the project team, is responsible for overall project management support, new systems integration, legacy systems management, integrated process design and operational services. Capgemini was appointed as a business process and IT outsourcing partner for Hydro One in a landmark $1 billion CAD contract over 10 years in 2002.

The Result

Hydro One and its partners continue to deploy steadily to meet project objectives as planned. Initial meter deployments started in late 2006, and by June 2007, the team surpassed a notable milestone of 100,000 installed smart meters. This puts the project on target to meet its goal of installing 240,000 smart meters by the end of 2007.

The exceptional achievement played a key role in the Utility Planning Network’s decision to select Hydro One as their 2007 award recipient for AMR (Advanced Meter Reading) deployment.