In Ontario, a central Meter Data Management and Repository (MDM/R) provides a common platform for processing, storing and managing all Smart Meter data in the province. The MDM/R is one of the world’s largest system implementations of its kind, involving the use of emerging technologies to serve over 70 local distribution companies (LDCs), transforming industry meter-to-bill practices, and increasing customer awareness of electricity consumption. The MDM/R provides validation and estimation services, billing determinants, and reports as well as comprehensive audit trails for the data contained in the MDM/R.
The MDM/R has been in operation since 2008, and is reliably processing reads from over 4 million meters a day, and fulfills 125 to 135 thousand billing determinant requests per day. At this time, most Ontarians have been transitioned to Time-Of-Use (TOU) rates and have been receiving billing determinants from the system.
Data transferred to and from the MDM/R complies with a stringent industry protocol that describes how to transmit encrypted data over the Internet securely. The data stored and managed in the MDM/R is secure. Only LDCs and their authorized agents have the ability to transmit or request information from the MDM/R. In accordance with established service levels, the MDM/R also has a disaster recovery facility at a geographically separate location that will resume all MDM/R functions should a business interruption occur.
The MDM/R is subject to an annual independent audit that is based on a Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants standard. The audit evaluates controls and procedures that govern key MDM/R functions and the changes made to it. It also evaluates the confidentiality of information within the MDM/R.
The diagram above displays how electricity usage is eventually applied to a customer’s bill or displayed by a local distribution company for web presentment. Each numbered process is described below:
1 - Smart Meters
On an hourly basis, the amount of electricity you use is recorded by the smart meter installed at your home.
2 - Collectors
Each day, your hourly electricity consumption information along with a register read is sent wirelessly, or via telephone or power lines to the Local Distribution Company's (LDC) data collector located in your neighborhood.
3 - Meter Data Collection
These collectors relay the electricity meter read data information to the LDC's system which ensures that all the smart meters have been read and all the necessary information has been captured.
4 – Meter Data Management and Repository (MDM/R)
Your LDC then transmits this information to the smart meter MDM/R which computes how much electricity was used during the Time-of-Use (TOU) periods. These usage periods are divided into On-Peak, Mid-Peak and Off-Peak. Only the LDC or their authorized parties, have access to the highly secure MDM/R database.
5 - Customer Information & Billing
Upon request, billing determinant information from the MDM/R is sent to the LDC and/or their billing agent so it can be used to prepare your electricity invoice.
6 - Home Energy Management
Most homeowners can access their energy usage information through a secure LDC web site. New apps and services are also emerging allowing you to monitor (and control) your energy usage.