Current price and when rates are lowest
With the Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill, you can simply ask Google or Alexa about the current electricity rate or Time-of-Use period.
How to reduce your electricity usage
Through the Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill, Alexa and Google will share helpful tips on how to save electricity and lower your bill.
Find out about current power outages
Curious about whether the power is out? With the skill, Google and Alexa can now tell you if there are power outages in Ottawa, where they are and how many customers are affected.
Ask questions about your electricity bill
Through Hydro Ottawa’s Smart Speaker Skill, you can learn your current bill balance, the date of your last payment and when your next payment is due.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some questions you may have about the Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for, please contact us. We’re here to help.
The process of downloading the skill will depend on the Smart Speaker device you own. To begin, open the Google Home, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa App.
If you are using the Google Home or Google Assistant App:
- If you’re using Google Home, first verify that the Google account that is listed is the Google Account you linked to Google Home. To switch accounts, tap the triangle to the right of the account name.
Open the Google Home app and click on the ‘Account’ icon in the lower right corner. Click ‘Settings’ then click ‘Services’ then select ‘Explore’. Search for the “Hydro Ottawa” action. Select the action and click ‘Link’.
- If you’re suing the Google Assistant App, tap the ‘Explore’ icon in the lower right corner and search for the “Hydro Ottawa” action. Select the action and click ‘Link’.
If you are using an Amazon Alexa device:
- Open the Alexa app and go to the menu and select ‘Skills & Games’. Or go to the Alexa Skills store at amazon.com/skills.
- Search for the “Hydro Ottawa” skill.
- Select the skill and open the skill detail page. Then, select the ‘Enable to Use’ option.
The Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill is available on the following devices:
- Google Home
- Google Mini
- Amazon Echo
- Amazon Echo Plus
- Amazon Echo Dot
- Amazon Echo Spot
The Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill is designed to answer some of the most common questions we receive from customers. It can share with you:
- The current electricity rate and Time-of-Use period.
- The up-to-date balance on your electricity bill, the date of your last payment and the date your next payment is due.
- The latest information on current power outages.
- Tips on how to conserve electricity.
- Details on how to get in touch with us at Hydro Ottawa.
Not yet, but we’re looking into introducing French capability in the future.
Once you’ve downloaded the Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill, simply say “Hydro Ottawa”, “Hydro Ottawa Skill”, or ask your device to “open Hydro Ottawa”. Then you can ask your Hydro Ottawa question. Our Smart Speaker Skill has been programmed with multiple ways of asking the same or similar questions. If your smart speaker device is not able to answer your question, try phrasing it a different way.
After you sign in and confirm your identity, the Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill can answer your questions about your current bill balance, the date you made your last payment and the due date for your next payment.
The Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill is programmed to validate your identity before providing answers to any of the three billing questions. If you ask Google Home or Amazon Alexa a question about your bill and you’re not signed in, the device will remind you to sign-in on the skill’s settings page.
Once you’re signed in, you will then be asked: “To confirm your identity, please tell us your postal code.” Once the correct postal code is provided, you can ask billing questions for the next hour. In other words, your postal code validation remains in effect for one hour, so you can ask any of the three questions during that hour and not have to say your postal code again.
Generally, most of our customers know that with Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing, electricity rates in Ontario are lowest in the evening and on weekends. But since TOU periods and their associated rates change based on the season, it’s helpful to know the current TOU period and rate. The Hydro Ottawa Smart Speaker Skill provides this information in an instant.
If you ask a question about the current rate and/or TOU period, the skill will also tell you when the next Off-Peak period begins. If you can defer using some electricity until then, your electricity rate is more than 50 percent lower in Off-Peak than it is during the On-Peak period.
Wondering why the lights seem to be out across the street? Have your neighbours lost power? Hydro Ottawa’s Smart Speaker Skill can list any power outages across Ottawa together with their location and the number of customers affected.
If you need more information, you can visit the Power Outage Centre on our website. You can also download the Hydro Ottawa mobile app, to access our power outage map and see information on current power outages throughout the city.
If you ask Google Home or Amazon Alexa a question about saving electricity or lowering your electricity bill, it will share a conservation tip with you based on the current season.
If you would like more personalized advice to help you understand your electricity usage, costs and ways you can save, sign up for an online account with Hydro Ottawa to receive your monthly Home Energy Reports. These reports provide:
- Insights about how much electricity you used during your last billing period.
- Billing projections.
- Tips on how to manage ‘Always On’ devices that consume electricity whether you are using them or not.
- High Usage Alerts that notify you if your usage is significantly higher than normal.
You can also download the Hydro Ottawa mobile app to benefit from similar insights and advice from your smartphone.
Ways to reach us may be found here. In the future, you ask your Smart Speaker for Hydro Ottawa’s phone number or office hours, it will provide you with our contact information and let you know whether our offices are open or closed.