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Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday May 26 2015
3:39 AM EDT
2014-04-03 at NOON

Online access

Thunder Bay Hydro`s Tim Wilson says online tracking of residential energy use can be an eye-opener.
Leith Dunick,
Thunder Bay Hydro`s Tim Wilson says online tracking of residential energy use can be an eye-opener.
By Leith Dunick,

On Thursday Thunder Bay Hydro unveiled MyTBHydro, a tool available on their website that can break down electricity to the hour to help customers better understand conservation efforts and what they might be able to do to cut their monthly or bi-monthly bills.

Signing up for the site will also allow for paperless billing, something many customers had been asking for, said Tim Wilson, the utility’s vice-president of customer and information services.

“Our hope is that we get about 3,000 customer sign-ups,” Wilson said. “Quite easily, with about a thousand, we’ll easily pay for the capital costs and the ongoing operating costs of the system.”

Wilson added Thunder Bay Hydro has conducted a number of customer surveys over the past seven or eight years. The topic that continues to come up is customers wanting more online access to their account.

While other utilities, like Union Gas, have offered online billing and usage tracking for several years, Thunder Bay Hydro never took the step.

Until now, Wilson said.

“We purposely kind of hesitated on that kind of a move for a number of years, just to make sure we understood exactly what customers wanted,” he said.

“Was it paying online, was it account access, was it access to electricity usage? And with all the conservation programs that the province has us offering at this time, we felt this was a good opportunity to really marry access to electricity usage to help customers have a better understanding of energy use within their home and give them the access at that point. It was the right time.”

The sign-up process is an easy one, Wilson added.

A customer must have a valid email address and their current bill to set up online, where the public will be asked to create a password-protected account.

It can also be done in person at Thunder Bay Hydro’s Cumberland Street payment office.

“We’ll run you through a little bit of security questioning on your account and then you’re in. It’s really easy to navigate around. We’ve tested it a number of times to see what the energy use is like in our home and it’s interesting to see. It becomes very obvious and apparent to you as a user,” Wilson said.

Thunder Bay Hydro’s Eileen Dias said there’s another sign-up option available.

“Another thing you can do is bring some proper ID to the Home Show this weekend and we’ll sign you up,” she said.



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Arch Stanton says:
Those solar panels popping up all over Slate River Valley are looking more attractive by the day.....
4/4/2014 11:58:38 AM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
You conserve, in the cold and dark, so that they can all have and keep getting at the current ferocious rate.
4/4/2014 8:32:12 AM
halfwaygorilla says:
I agree, it seems like conservation efforts are meaningless.
I've changed to all my bulbs to CFL and LED, turn off lights after the kids, run the dishwasher at night and dry my clothes on a rack in the basement....
and the bill slowly keeps climbing somehow.
4/4/2014 11:11:42 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
We have the highest rates across Canada why not lower the rates instead of trying to pacify us with useless features that will probably be added to an all ready outrageously overpriced hydro bill. "Internet Usage Fee" How about offering a rebate when you need to get rid of extra hydro instead of PAYING Quebec and the USA to take it. Unreal how much did they pay for this program.
4/4/2014 1:04:34 AM
mystified says:
The Go Green groups and utility companies all promote conservation of energy which is great. The problem stems from the Porkers who had this waterfall of money coming in won't let it go. We save on consumption, they jack up the rates or add a new payment to the bill. We won't win. It's BS as someones buddy is in the game so they buy it and force it on us.
4/3/2014 5:44:11 PM
j_northey says:
I'm very happy to have it. Was caught off-guard when someone turned up the heat in a rarely used room (baseboard heat), with this I'd have noticed a lot earlier.
4/3/2014 5:20:10 PM
SomeGuy says:
The address doesn't work...or it has run out of power.
4/3/2014 4:44:38 PM
cm punk says:
Yeah, we can all watch our hydro increase month after month after month.

I mean, we all use our dryer after 7pm, have freezers, fridges, computers, tvs and other appliances and devices on stand by when they are not in use.

Like my water bill, I am pretty consistent in my usage but each payment keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Oh well. :(

Gotta get ready to head to New Orleans and be ready for my return at WM 30.
4/3/2014 2:30:18 PM
Doug Meyers says:
Great idea, long overdue perhaps, but better now than never.
4/3/2014 1:41:27 PM
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