FAQs

Have questions about our app?

The app is an extension to the online access that Hydro Ottawa currently offers. Our goal is to provide information in the format that best suits the needs of our customers, and customers have been asking for mobile access to their account information for some time.

I don’t have a smartphone. I only have a landline and email address. How does the Hydro Ottawa app help me?

If you are not able to use the app, do not worry. Similar information is available to you through your online account.

If you have an email address on file with Hydro Ottawa, you will also receive monthly Home Energy Reports by email that are personalized to your account. These Home Energy Reports will provide you with similar insights as through the app, including a monthly summary, bill projection, savings opportunity for ‘Always On’, high usage alerts and a comparison of usage to your neighbours. If you do not wish to receive these Home Energy Reports, you can unsubscribe at any time by following the link included in the emails.

Can I export my data?

There is currently no option to export your data from the app. You can however download your data from our website as before.

If I download the app, will I continue to receive email notification when my bill is ready for viewing?

As an online billing customer, you will still receive email notification when your bill is ready for viewing. The app is an extension to what Hydro Ottawa currently offers.

Will I be able to pay my bill through the app?

The app currently doesn’t have a feature that allows you to pay your bill but there are many other options available for bill payments.

Which smartphones and mobile devices work with the app?

The app is compatible with any Apple device running iOS 9 or higher and any Android-based smartphone running Android version 5.0 or higher. It is available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The app is not available on Blackberry or Windows devices.

How much mobile data does the app use?

Navigating through the standard app screens may use up to 500kb of data, which is less than the approximately 900kb of data needed to update your Facebook feed. You can also use the app while your device is connected to Wi-Fi, allowing you to avoid using up your mobile data.

What will I see when I start using the app? Will I see my electricity data right away?

After completing the installation, it may take a few days for the app to reflect your electricity usage.

Customers new to Hydro Ottawa will require up to four months of usage to get the full benefit of the data analysis.

When you begin using the app, you will see:

  • Your electricity cost projection for your billing period (this cost represents the electricity charge only, not your total bill);
  • Your ‘Always On’ usage (this is a summary of the electricity usage of the devices in your home that are consuming electricity whether you are using them or not. ‘Always On’ includes personal computers, monitors, printers, gaming consoles, phone chargers, stereos, televisions and cable); and
  • A comparison to your neighbours. 

To check if something is on, the app needs at least four weeks’ worth of consumption data to exclude appliances that run 24/7. If you continue having issues with the app after the initial installation process, try deleting it from your device and then reinstalling it.

If this doesn’t work, contact us.

Why does the homepage background change? Does it change depending on my location?

The background reflects the current weather in Ottawa. We obtain this weather data from third-party sources.

The time, date and temperature are based on the service address of your home and do not change depending on the location of your mobile device.

Some features of the app no longer seem to be working?

We are continuously working to improve the app and keep it up-to-date. We develop solutions to recently-discovered technical issues and release new versions of the app on a regular basis.

You may need to download the newest version of the app for old issues to disappear and for all features to start working properly again.

If this doesn’t work, contact us to let us know about the problem.

How does the app estimate my electricity costs? Why is it different from what is shown on my bill?

The app estimates the electricity cost for your current billing cycle based on your historical usage and provincial Time-of-Use rates.

Cost projections displayed in the app (including any Home Energy Reports you receive by email) represent only the electricity charge that appears on your bill. It is not reflective of your total bill as it does not include the delivery charge, regulatory charge, taxes, and other fees or credits that may apply to your bill. Information about you total bill is available through your online account under ‘Usage’.

What does “Usage – For XX/XX” mean?

This is your most recent electricity usage cost in MM/DD format. Keep in mind that this cost represents the electricity charge only, not your total bill.

I currently verify my electricity usage at different times during the day. Will I be able to do this with the app?

Yes, the app will allow you to see your electricity usage on a daily basis broken down into Time-of-Use periods. There is a day or two delay before your usage data appears in the app.

Why does it say ‘On-Peak’ in red?

This reminder is displayed during the time of day associated with an ‘On-Peak’ rate period. The intent is to help you avoid electricity usage during periods when electricity rates are the highest.

Why does it say NORMAL or HIGH?

This indicates that your projected cost or last complete day’s usage is normal or high, relative to your usual consumption patterns.

Projected cost is considered high if it exceeds the average of the five previous monthly periods by 5% or more, and by $5 or more.

The last complete day’s usage is considered high if it exceeds the average of the five previous similar days by 50% or more, and by $3 or more.

What are ‘High Usage Alerts’ and how are they useful?

The app sends ‘High Usage Alerts’ as a service to tell you when your electricity usage is significantly higher than normal. A good example of how they are useful is if you leave your air conditioner on longer than normal. Our system will see that and send you a ‘High Usage Alert’.

I moved and now I can’t see my historical usage. Will it start appearing again?

Yes, the historical usage will start appearing again after you accumulate sufficient data at your new residence for the analysis to be effective.  It will take approximately four billing cycles for you to start receiving reports and alerts.

What is the ‘Neighbourhood Comparison’?

The ‘Neighbourhood Comparison’ is an insight that allows you to benchmark your electricity usage against that of similar homes in your residential area.

Why are you comparing me to my neighbours?

The homes we pick for comparison depends not only on location, but also on dwelling type and usage level. Thus, you may or may not be compared to your direct neighbours. However, experience shows that this type of comparison can help customers save electricity. It provides you with an idea of what you could potentially save.

Which neighbours are you comparing me to?

Our goal is to provide you with a comparison that is valid and meaningful. We do this by looking at other households in your area – homes that are geographically close to yours, based on postal code, as well as homes that resemble yours by dwelling type and usage level. We can provide better insights and analytics if you update your home profile.

My neighbourhood comparison seems high/low?

Our Neighbourhood Comparison algorithm uses home address and property type to identify other homes that are suitable for comparison to yours. For around 80% of customers, this provides a sufficiently representative comparison with which to benchmark personal electricity usage. As more customers provide detailed information about their homes, appliances, and retrofits, we look forward to fine-tuning our comparisons; until then, we aim to use the most robust, consistent and current sources of data to serve Hydro Ottawa customers.

Do my neighbours see my electricity usage information? Is my personal information being shared with my neighbours? Can I get a list of neighbours that I’m compared to?

No, the ‘Neighbourhood Comparison’ does not reveal your specific electricity usage to your neighbours.

Personal information collected and used for this service was done in accordance with Hydro Ottawa’s Privacy Policy. You may visit our website or contact customer service with any questions you may have about the collection and use of personal information for this service.

What is Appliance Breakdown and how does it work?

Appliance breakdown takes the electricity data provided by your meter and your appliance profile to categorize the usage of individual appliances. Each appliance uses electricity in a unique pattern - think of it like an appliance fingerprint. We detect and extract these “fingerprints” and use the data to provide useful insights and recommendations.

How much detail does the appliance breakdown provide?

We breakdown your usage into as many as 12 appliance categories. You can track the usage of each category over the course of the year and see how they change based on season, weather and your behaviour. We identify the categories that consume a large amount of electricity, like ‘Always On’, furnace, cooling and pool pump, based on the usage from your meter. Knowing this usage we then use statistical data to estimate how much your other appliance categories, like laundry, cooking, lighting and entertainment, are consuming. In the end, through a combination of your actual usage and our rule-based model, we can compose a holistic picture of your total electricity consumption.

I don’t have electric heat but there is electricity usage allocated to the ‘Furnace’ category. What is this for?

If you have central non-electric heat such as gas, propane or oil the appliance breakdown for ‘Furnace’ will include the electric portion (fan) of your space heating system.

The same is true for heating by air source and ground source heat pump systems. If you have a heat pump you can make sure this is handled correctly by adjusting your appliance profile to indicate “Gas/Heat Pump/Other” and “Heat Pump.

How do I update my Appliance Profile?

Within the Hydro Ottawa app for iOS or Android select "Appliance Profile" from the main menu in the upper left corner and then complete the configuration options available.

Using a web browser you can login into MyAccount via hydroottawa.com and select Usage then click on the profile menu icon in the upper right corner and select "Appliance Profile".

Why is the app not showing the electricity usage of my individual appliances?

The app takes the electricity data from your meter and refers to your appliance profile to pinpoint the usage of each individual appliance.

The app will show the electricity usage of your individual appliances once you update your appliance profile. You can update your appliance profile under the Usage section of your online account.

Why do I see a neighbourhood comparison for some of the appliances in the breakdown but not others?

We are able to determine the consumption of certain appliances including Furnace, ‘Always On’, Pool Pump and Cooling directly from usage data provided by your electricity meter. This allows us to provide you with a neighbourhood comparison. The remaining appliances that are broken out are determined using rule based techniques and that comparison is not possible. More information is available to help you better understand what each category includes.

What is 'Always On'?

‘Always On’ is a term for the devices in your home that are consuming electricity whether you are using them or not. You may have heard of it referred to as ‘vampire loads,’ ‘phantom loads,’ or ‘base loads.’ ‘Always On’ includes personal computers, monitors, printers, gaming consoles, phone chargers, stereos, televisions and cable boxes.

My 'Always On' usage is really high. Is that normal?

Possibly. Depending on the home, ‘Always On’ usage can represent 15% to 50% of a home’s monthly electricity use.

Which electronics and appliances should I power off to reduce ‘Always On’ power?

Appliances and electronics left plugged in, even when turned off, still draw power. It’s called ‘Always On’ power. Some major culprits of ‘Always On’ power include: desktop computers, printers, TVs, cable/satellite boxes, game consoles, DVD players and stereos. Even rechargeable devices such as your smart phone or tablet continue to draw power when fully charged but left plugged in. Here are some ways to reduce ‘Always On’ power:

Use a power bar with timer:

  • Plug computer equipment, such as your desktop computer, printer, modem and Wi-Fi router into one power bar, and then set the timer to be “off” while you’re at work and asleep. Typically this equipment may only required for an hour or two in the evening.
  • Create a charging station by plugging devices such as smart phones, tablets, cameras, and power tools into a power bar with timer and set it to run only for a certain amount of time at night. That gives enough time for chargers to reach full power, and be ready to use bright and early the next day.
  • Plug coffee makers and other small kitchen appliances into power bars with timers so they are only on during hours you typically use them.

Use a power bar with auto-shutoff:

  • Plug entertainment devices such as your TV, DVD or Blu-ray player, cable/satellite box, game console and stereo into a power bar with auto-shutoff. It allows you to designate one item, such as your TV, as the controlling device that when turned off will automatically shut down power to the other connected devices. When your TV is turned on, power is restored to all. Many also have a separate circuit that allows you to leave certain devices on, such as your PVR or cable/satellite box.

Look for ENERGY STAR® Products:

  • It’s not always possible to unplug every electronic device and appliance in your home. For example, your PVR can use a lot of energy in standby mode, but it’s not always feasible to power it off each night. Fridges and freezers can draw a lot of energy, but need to stay plugged in to cool your food. That’s why it’s important to look for the ENERGY STAR® label when purchasing home appliances and electronics that need to stay plugged in. ENERGY STAR® certified products use less energy and typically have built-in power-saving features.

 Changes to Online Account Access (formerly MyHydroLink)

Will I continue to receive notifications when I’ve reached my electricity usage thresholds?

No, but you will still be able to monitor your electricity usage, just in a slightly different way.

We have discontinued the ‘On-Peak Consumption Threshold’ and ‘Electricity Consumption Threshold’ notifications that were available through your online Hydro Ottawa account, formerly called MyHydroLink. The ‘Due Date’ and ‘Electricity Bill Threshold’ alerts will continue. 

We are now offering a variety of new notifications through the app about your electricity usage that will include ‘High Usage Alerts’.

Other information about your electricity consumption continues to be available through your online account, including billing and payment history.

I don’t see “MyHydroLink” on your website. Where is it?

We have updated our online services to include an improved online account experience (formerly known as “MyHydroLink”) that now includes Home Energy Report emails and a mobile application (app).

I previously logged in to my online Hydro Ottawa account with a username. Why do I have to login with my email address now?

We made this change in early 2017 because one of the most common complaints with our website was related to the login system. Customers were forgetting their username and having trouble retrieving their password.

To make the process even easier, you can now sign in using your Facebook or Google account. Once your Facebook or Google account is linked to your online Hydro Ottawa account, signing into the app can be done with just one click. 

I don’t have a Facebook or Google account. Can I still use the app?

Yes, we’re offering Facebook and Google as login options to help serve all customers, but you still have the option to login with your email address. 

Our goal is to provide access to information online in the format that best suits the needs of our customers.

Can anyone who has my email address access my online Hydro Ottawa account?

No. In order for someone to access your account through the app or our website, they need your password. We have security measures in place to safeguard your online account. For instance, consecutive failed login attempts result in the user's online account being locked.  

Can I have two separate email addresses associated with my account and login to the app with either of them?

You can download the app as many times as you like and to as many devices as you like, however, there can only be one set of login credentials (i.e. one email address and password or one social account login) per account.

I have multiple Hydro Ottawa accounts but can only view one of them on the app. Why?

The app and your online account currently only support one Hydro Ottawa account. If you would like, you can select a different account as your default online account by changing your preferences or by contacting us.

Should I log out of the app after I use it?

No. The app uses notifications to alert you of important information about your electricity usage. For instance, the app may notify you that your monthly summary is ready, or that your usage is higher than normal.

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