Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Programming Toronto Hydro's PeakSaver Plus Meter - The Easier Way

TL;DR - Scroll down if you want to skip the background and just get to the instructions.

I've not long had what Toronto Hydro call the "PeakSaver Plus Meter" (really, it's a BlueLine PowerCost meter), and less than a week after someone from Toronto Hydro came and installed it whilst I was at work, the TOU (Time of use) rates changed.  I asked Toronto hydro about this on twitter, and they pointed me at this video.  A week or two went by and eventually, I got around to watching it - then I went to my blueline meter and tried to reprogram it, and for about the past three weeks the meter has sat on the window sill showing the wrong information whilst the rest of family life takes priority.

Last night, I finally got around to fixing this and given what I've learned, here's the bits that are missing in the instructions and that will likely get you back on track quicker.

I'm going to assume that you've royally screwed with the device and you've no idea what you've done, or how to undo whatever it was you did...  If you haven't screwed up the device, just follow along anyway, that way we know where you are at.

First, get the current TOU rates and scribble them down.  As of writing this, they are:
  • On-Peak:  12.40 c/kWh
  • Mid-Rate:  10.40 c/kWh
  • Off-Peak:  6.70 c/kWh
Note that I've put an extra zero on the end of the prices.  You will be entering the prices in this format.  (so, "10.4" c/kWh becomes "10.40" for example).

Second, get the tier start times and scribble them down as well.  As of writing this, they are:
  • Tier 1 - Mid Peak - 7am
  • Tier 2 - On-Peak - 11am
  • Tier 3 - Mid Peak - 5pm
  • Tier 4 - Off Peak - 7pm
(I didn't bunch the prices and times together like Toronto Hydro did in their video, as you don't enter it all together, so it's easier to split things up like this - into rates and then times).

Before we get started:  
If you suddenly need to stop this, because maybe the dog has just run into the house covered in skunk spray (or for any other sane/insane reason) just hold PROG/SYNC on top of the device until you hear one beep, to save where you got to. 

When you are ready to resume this process later, start at item #3 below.  Then, just keep pressing PROG/SYNC until you reach the point where you had to stop previously.

  1. Press and hold both CLEAR and PROG/SYNC till you hear 3 beeps and the entire display flashes every LCD segment.  Your device is now reset.  
  2. Wait about 5 seconds and you'll hear one more beep as the unit starts to work using the new blank settings.  Now, we can put in our own settings.
  3. Press PROG/SYNC until you hear a short beep. The time (likely 12:01 by now) will be flashing the hour segment.  Use the up/down arrows to select the correct hour.  When ready, press PROG/SYNC.
  4. Now the minutes are flashing.  Press up/down to get the correct minutes.  Press PROG/SYNC.
  5. Select (using up/down) the time format you prefer. Press PROG/SYNC.
  6. You should see "sun" flashing in the corner.  Select (using up/down) the current day.   Press PROG/SYNC.
  7. Now the temperature gauge is flashing.  Using up/down, select Fahrenheit or Celsius.  Press PROG/SYNC.
  8. You will see "1.0" flashing. (No need to change this - it's a usage multiplier) Press PROG/SYNC.  [At this point, your device settings are done]
  9. "Tier" is now flashing.  Press "up" twice so you see "3-Peak".  Press PROG/SYNC.
  10. Now, "Sun" and "Sat" are flashing.  This means they are both off-peak.  Just press PROG/SYNC.
  11. Now the big number is flashing.  Set this (up/down buttons) to your off peak rate.  Press PROG/SYNC.
  12. Now the big number is flashing again.  Set this (up/down buttons) to your mid-rate number.  Press PROG/SYNC.
  13. One last time, the big number is flashing. Set this (up/down buttons) to your on-peak rate. Press PROG/SYNC.  [At this point, your rate prices are done]
  14. You now see a big "1" and time flashing.  Summer Mid-Peak starts at 7:00am.  Set this (up/down buttons).  Press PROG/SYNC.
  15. Now the peak is flashing.  Set this (up/down) to Mid-Peak.  Press PROG/SYNC.
  16. You now see a big "2" and time flashing. Summer On-Peak starts at 11:00am.  Set this (up/down buttons).  Press PROG/SYNC.
  17. You now see a big "3" and time flashing. The afternoon mid-Peak starts at 5:00pm.  Set this (up/down buttons).  Press PROG/SYNC.
  18. You now see a big "4" and time flashing. Summer Off-peak starts at 7:00pm.  Set this (up/down buttons).  Press PROG/SYNC.  [At this point, your tier starting times are done]
  19. You now see a big "5" and time flashing. Press and hold PROG/SYNC till you hear a beep to save and exit.
You're done.