OEB authorizes installation of electricity smart sub-metering systems in residential and commercial complexes



    TORONTO, Aug. 13 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Energy Board issued a
Decision and Order authorizing Exempt Distributors (e.g., landlords) to
conduct discretionary metering activities (install smart sub-metering systems
for individual units). The use of the smart sub-metering systems to bill
tenants is only permissible with the express written consent of the tenants.

    The Decision and Order provides landlords with clear direction on the
conditions necessary for using smart sub-metering systems to bill tenants.

    In the case of residential complexes: the tenant's written consent must
be voluntary and informed; an energy audit must be conducted by an independent
third party; additional details such as a corresponding rent reduction must be
provided; and a licensed smart sub-metering provider must be used.

    In the case of commercial complexes, the tenant's consent must be in
writing, and meters must be installed by a licensed smart sub-metering
provider.

    The Board's Decision and Order makes it clear that the smart sub-metering
of residential and commercial complexes was not authorized if the smart
sub-metering system was installed prior to today's decision and on or after
November 3, 2005. It does, however, recognize existing written consent in the
case of commercial complexes given at the time the tenant leased the property.

    Residential and commercial complexes are typically supplied with
electricity by licenced local distribution utilities through a bulk meter.
This meter records all of the electricity flowing into the building without
any differentiation between users. Smart sub-metering systems are designed to
enable the allocation of electricity usage by individual tenants on a
unit-by-unit basis.

    The Ontario Energy Board regulates the province's electricity and natural
gas sectors in the public interest. It envisions a viable and efficient energy
sector with informed consumers, and works towards this vision through
regulatory processes that are effective, fair and transparent.

    For more information on the Board, please visit our website at
www.oeb.gov.on.ca or contact the Consumer Relations Centre at 416-314-2455 or
toll-free at 1-877-632-2727.


    
    Backgrounder

    August 12, 2009

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    What are      Smart sub-metering systems are designed to enable the
    smart sub-    allocation of electricity use by individual tenants on a
    meters?       unit-by-unit basis.

                  Each tenant consumer is assessed according to his or her
                  actual usage as recorded by their individual smart sub-
                  meters. If time-of-use rates are charged for the commodity
                  at the bulk meter, then time-of-use rates will be passed on
                  to the individual tenants.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Who's         Smart sub-metering of individual apartment dwellings is
    affected by   only permitted with the informed, voluntary and express
    the OEB       written consent of the tenant. Each dwelling must be given
    Decision on   an energy efficiency audit by an independent, third party.
    smart sub-    The full audit report must be provided to the tenant prior
    metering?     to obtaining consent for sub-metering.

                  The Board will allow smart sub-meters in commercial and
                  industrial properties given they have access to and are
                  presumed to avail themselves of appropriate legal and other
                  advice so as to protect their interests in relation to
                  landlords seeking to smart sub-meter their leased premises.

                  Condos owners have previously been authorized by
                  legislation to install smart sub-meters in prescribed
                  circumstances.

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    How does      Prior to this decision, the installation of sub-metering
    this impact   systems in residential complexes, other than condominiums,
    rent and      was not authorized by the Electricity Act or regulation.
    electricity
    bills paid    Previous agreements involving sub-meters and their billings
    under         are between a landlord and tenant. Disputes regarding rent
    previously    charges and changes to a separate electricity charge can be
    signed        made to the Landlord and Tenant Board (www.ltb.gov.on.ca,
    leases with   1-888-332-3234).
    sub-metering
    agreements?   If a consumer wishes to complain about a metering system
                  installed since November 2005, they can contact the OEB
                  (www.oeb.gov.on.ca, 416-314-2455 or 1-877-632-2727).

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What happens  Any equipment that was installed without authorization may
    to existing   remain.
    sub-meters?


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For further information:

For further information: Paul Crawford, Ontario Energy Board, (416)
440-7607


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