• Withheld portions of the agreement to build the central database to receive smart meters readings.
• Sections 17(1)(a), (b) and (c) (third party information) – not upheld
• Section 18(1)(a) and (c) (economic and other interest) – not upheld
• Withheld portions of agreement ordered disclosed.
BACKGROUND OF APPEAL:
The Smart Metering Initiative is the Government of Ontario’s program to create a conservation culture based upon the province-wide deployment of smart meters. Smart meters track how much electricity is used at a specific location and when it is used. Unlike a conventional meter, a smart-meter can record a customer’s total electricity consumption on an hourly basis and transmit that information to a computer database. The Government’s target is to furnish all homes and small businesses with smart meters by 2010.
The Ministry of Energy (the Ministry) has entered into an arrangement with the Independent Electricity System Operator (the IESO) where the IESO will act as the Smart Meter Entity, responsible for the establishment and implementation of Ontario’s central meter data repository (MDM/R).
The MDM/R is a centralized computer database that will receive electronic readings from smart meters. The MDM/R will process these meter readings to produce consumption data and transmit that data to local distribution companies for billing.
The IESO ran a competitive procurement process for the development and operation of Ontario’s MDM/R and selected a third party vendor (the third party). The IESO subsequently entered into a MDM/R Agreement with the third party and a copy of the agreement and related documentation was provided to the Ministry.
NATURE OF THE APPEAL:
The Ministry received a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) for records relating to the Government of Ontario’s smart meter initiative. After clarifying the request, the Ministry confirmed that the request was for the latest estimates of a number of specific costs, as well as all final documents relating to the cost of smart metering hardware and MDM/R systems for an identified period of time, including the agreement for the central data repository.