Time-of-use electricity billing comes to Enwin in April
Starting this April, Windsorites will have to start paying attention to when they turn on the dryer or dishwasher.
Time-of-use billing for electricity is scheduled to arrive in Windsor in April.
Years after other utility providers made the switch, Enwin will implement the system.
The city is one of the last in the province to implement the billing system.
Enwin was granted an extension to replace its billing system.
"Now we're implementing a new computer system that will help us service our customers better under the time of use system. That takes a considerable amount of time to put that into effect," said Enwin's communications officer, Barbara Peirce Marshall.
Electricity will cost more during "peak hours" during the day, and less at night. The rates are set by the province.
After 7 p.m., homeowners will save a few cents per kilowatt hour. But during the day, they will pay more.
"Whether or not a customer will save money will depend entirely on the customer," Peirce Marshall said. "Customers are going to need to look at their consumption patterns and determine how much it’s worth to them to try to control their consumption so they can control their prices."
Mark Harris lives in LaSalle, where his utilities provider, Essex Power, has already been billing this way for years. He estimates time-of-use billing is saving him $50 a month now that he and his family have changed their routines.
"If it was a matter of saving $10 a month, are you going to put yourself through that? I’m not," he said. "But sometimes it’s very inconvenient."
Fellow LaSalle resident Dave Simatic said he doesn't like the change.
"We’re doing laundry at a 10 or 11 at night. It’s not practical," he said. "We don’t agree with it. But you don’t have a choice."
Enwin will notify people of the coming change through newsletters and its website.
According to the Minister of Energy, more than 4.7 million smart meters are installed in Ontario, with more than 4.4 million electricity consumers currently on time-of-use pricing.
"Smart meters give consumers more precise hourly readings of energy consumption and enable Time-of-Use pricing, which rewards customers who shift electricity usage from peak hours to off-peak hours when there is less demand on the power system and power is less expensive to produce," Mark Smith, senior media relations coordinator for the Ministry of Energy told CBC News in an email. "This translates into system savings by avoiding or deferring the need for new generation and transmission and distribution investments."