A smart meter is an electronic device that measures how much electricity is used by a home or a business and when the electricity is used. This data is collected from the meter hourly, and sent electronically to a local distribution company (LDC).
Smart meters have been installed at more than five million homes and businesses across Ontario. These meters provide LDCs with valuable information that helps them bill their customers correctly and operate their distribution networks more efficiently.
The Smart Metering Entity (SME) is appointed by the Government of Ontario to develop, manage and protect Ontario’s smart meter data repository. The IESO is currently operating as Ontario’s SME under a regulatory framework as established by the Ontario Energy Board.
The Meter Data Management/Repository is a platform for storing, processing, validating and managing smart meter data about hourly electricity consumption for homes and businesses across Ontario. It has been in place for over a decade, since the Smart Metering Initiative was introduced in Ontario and continues to serve as a reliable and dependable central database for all smart metering data in the province, in support of electricity billing by the LDC and valuable smart meter data and analytics.
Privacy compliant highly aggregated electricity consumption data from residential and small general service (less than 50 kW) customers is available to the public. Other data sets with lower levels of aggregation and same levels of rigorous privacy protection can be made available to Canadian Governmental Entities (e.g., municipalities, academic institutions). Such data requests are always subject to analysis for eligibility, and require the execution of a legal contract called a Data Use Agreement. For further information, visit Data Sharing.
A consumer account taking electricity at 750 volts or less where the electricity is used exclusively in a separate metered living accommodation (for domestic household and personal residency use).
A small general service (<50kW) customer (also known as small commercial) applies to a non-residential account taking electricity at 750 volts or less whose average monthly maximum demand is less than, or is forecast to be less than 50 kW.
Canadian governmental entities are federal and provincial governments, including ministries, agencies, boards, commissions, tribunals, wholly-owned corporations and non-share capital corporations controlled by a federal or provincial government, as well as municipalities, universities, school boards, hospitals and Indigenous communities.
Visit OEB Order and Decision for the complete order that permits access for these organizations.
Canadian governmental entities and academic institutions can use smart meter data for operational and analytical purposes, including informing research, policy and program design. For example:
- Educational institutions and research firms may find the data useful in understanding different patterns and trends in electricity use across Ontario.
- Municipalities can use the data to support future community energy planning or to develop energy efficiency campaigns.
No. The MDM/R does not collect any personal information.
The IESO takes additional measures to safeguard the privacy and security of the data. For example, it applies filters to minimize the risk of re-identification of a customer or their premises. Additional measures align with the guidelines issued by the Information and Privacy Commissioner and comply with all applicable privacy laws.
The IESO requires eligible third parties that qualify to receive the data, to ensure that they comply with the conditions set out in their legal contract called a Data Use Agreement. See the Privacy and Security section for further details on how individual privacy is protected.
Along with ongoing security testing, the MDM/R is subject to rigorous annual control audits. In addition, its tools and processes are updated as new technologies emerge and best practices evolve. See the Privacy and Security section for further details.
No. Data-sharing initiatives do not involve any additional costs to ratepayers. The cost of a non-public request is paid for by the entity requesting the data. Canadian governmental entities are charged $145 per hour. This rate has been approved by the Ontario Energy Board in Order and Decision EB 2021-0292.
Customers who have questions on any of the above can:
- Contact the IESO.
- Contact the OEB.
- Contact your local electricity distributor. Visit Find Your LDC to identify your distributor.