In Canada, energy companies in Ontario are incentivising customers to adopt energy-saving behaviour with free smart energy gadgets.

Canadian utilities free incentives energy managementAs part of its peaksaver PLUS programme, Ontario-based utility Milton Hydro is offering its customers a free ecobee wi-fi-enabled Smart Si thermostat that connects to their smart meters.

Via a meter connection, customers will receive real-time energy usage data and price information right to their thermostat. Furthermore, homeowners can monitor and control their thermostat from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Frank Lasowski, president and CEO of Milton Hydro, said: "The launch of our peaksaver PLUS program provides our customers more insight into their energy use plus the tools to optimize and control their cooling expenses this summer.

He added: “Now our customers have greater control. If they decide they want to stay at their cottage longer than expected this summer, all they have to do is adjust their air conditioner right from their dock using their smartphone. In addition, participating customers play a role in responsibly lowering the demand for electricity during extreme heat and peak energy use.”

According to Milton Hydro’s website, the free thermostat and installation is valued at approximately $400.

Free HEMs monitor

Canadian utility HEms monitor incentiveMeanwhile, Essex Powerlines will reward customers who sign up for Ontario's saveONenergy peaksaver PLUS programme with a free Blue Line in-home energy monitor.

The display claims to save consumers roughly 10 per cent on average on their home energy costs.

With peak energy rates in Ontario having increased 48 per cent over the past 5 years (9.1 cents to 13.5 cents per kilowatt), Blue Line and peaksaverPLUS allows consumers to immediately adjust their electricity consumption to offset summer air conditioner usage, phantom power waste and expected future rate hikes.

Widespread initiative

More than 200,000 Ontario consumers are participating in the peaksaverPLUS program. Essex Powerlines joins Enwin Utilities, Entegrus, along with 20 other participating Ontario hydro providers that are offering Blue Line's PowerCost Monitor. 

Marco Calibani, programme manager for renewables and sustainability at Essex Powerlines, said: "Blue-Line's in-home energy monitor makes it easy to track electricity usage, and make minor shifts in consumption to achieve meaningful savings."

Peter Porteous, CEO of Blue Line Innovations, commented: "Our products help homeowners instantly save money on their electric bill by eliminating waste, and shows the amount of energy consumed, when you think everything is turned off.

"In addition, through the use of smart data, Blue Line lets consumers see how they can save a significant amount of money through minor tweaks in their electricity usage."

Enwin Utilities reports 5,600 customers signing up for the peaksaverPLUS programme.