Hydro Ottawa wins Peak Buster Award


Rosemarie Leclair,
President & CEO,
Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.
Ottawa, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — October 19, 2007 – Canadian utility Hydro Ottawa is pleased to have placed second among eight large utilities and fourth province-wide out of a total 18 who participated in a contest to reduce peak electricity demand over the hot summer months in the Ontario Clean Air Alliance’s Peak Buster Contest.

This summer, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance challenged communities across Ontario to reduce their use of electricity in peak periods. The winning utilities and respective communities were selected based on their achievement of the largest percentage reduction in their peak day demand. The contest compared the demand at the time of the 2007 summer system peak – the single point of highest electricity demand during the summer – to the 2006 summer system peak. The peak demand reductions of each of the Peak Buster Award winners have been verified by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator.

Hydro Ottawa customers reduced their peak demand by 101.64 MW, a 7.2% decrease from 2006. “This is a fantastic result. It reflects the huge effort we made in 2006 to help our customers conserve energy,” said Rosemarie Leclair, President and CEO of the Hydro Ottawa Group of Companies. “Our customers conserved enough electricity to power more than 6,800 Ottawa homes last year, and they continue to rise to the challenge whenever there is an appeal for conservation during the hottest days of the summer.”

In 2006, Hydro Ottawa, in partnership with Project Porchlight, distributed over 220,000 CFL bulbs as one of 37 programs to help kick-start its role as an agent of change. Other conservation efforts included:

  • The removal of approximately 5,000 old inefficient fridges and freezers from the electricity grid through the Fridge and Freezer Bounty program, now being offered across the province as the Great Refrigerator Round-Up under the direction of the Ontario Power Authority. This has led to ongoing savings of more than 1 MW of demand.
  • More than 650 kW of demand reductions through commercial energy-saving retrofit programs supported by the Business Incentive Program.
  • 1,500 customers were active in the peaksaver® program during the summer of 2007, meaning they have granted permission for their thermostats to be remotely adjusted by a couple of degrees during periods of highest demand. This represents approximately 700 kW of flexible load available, with a target of 3,500 additional customers in 2007.
  • Hydro Ottawa’s Key Account management program, which helped to orchestrate large load reductions with the largest electricity consumers in the city on heavy demand days.

Ms. Leclair said the results of the contest are not surprising given a recent Statistics Canada study showing that Ottawa is now leading the country in CFL bulb usage (70%), the use of programmable thermostats (60%) and the percentage of people programming their thermostats (91%). “Our customers truly are ‘agents of change’ and are leading the way in energy conservation.”

Hydro Ottawa Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa Holdings Inc., is the second largest municipal electricity company in the province, responsible for the safe, reliable delivery of electricity to more than 282,000 residential and business customers in the city of Ottawa and the village of Casselman.