Interval Metering: Managing Electricity Costs
Interval meters are devices that are installed in a building to log and monitor real time energy consumption in intervals of set time increments. These meters are typically found in larger commercial and industrial facilities, most of whom are large consumers of energy. Interval meters are used to determine electricity consumption of the building and the price paid for electricity.
These devices store hourly consumption readings and as a result, the facility is billed for their hourly consumption at the hourly spot market price. This price is regulated and set by the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator)
By using interval meters to track hourly consumption facility owners are able to take advantage of price fluctuations in the electricity market. Installing interval meters through your local utility will ensure that you are billed using spot market pricing or the Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP). As a client you are ensuring that you are paying the exact market price for the energy consumed at any given point in time for your facility. In comparison, those who don’t utilize interval meters are billed using a weighted average of the hourly price based on consumption patterns on similar consumers in your area.
Having interval meters installed at your facility
In order to have interval meters installed at your facility, you will need to register with the Independent Electricity System Operator. Registering for meter installation can be found in parts 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7 & 3.8 of Market Manual 3: Metering on the IESO’s website:
As an electricity purchaser you are responsible for the installation costs and maintenance of the meters. Metering maintenance and installations must be performed by an accredited metering service provider. The typical costs associated with meter installations is approximately $1000, however this cost can grow depending on the type of meter and different functions available such as real time monitoring to upwards of $5000. Some may question the value of investing in interval meters; however if you are an energy user, your interval data is essentially invaluable when it comes to energy management and can help reduce/manage overall energy consumption on one or multiple facilities. Interval data can very quickly reveal enormous amounts of information about a building and how/when it consumes energy. If this information is known it becomes very easy to target times and areas of high energy consumption and allows the end user to work towards reducing overall energy consumption. After all you cannot manage what you don’t measure.