Toronto Hydro receives energy efficiency award

Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — December 3, 2007 – Toronto Hydro-Electric System’s innovative peak reduction program – called peaksaver® – won a prestigious Platt’s Global Energy Award for strongest Energy Efficiency Initiative at a ceremony held last week.

From the start, in September 2005, peaksaver has been a winner with customers. Currently, close to 44,000 Torontonians have registered for the program, and 36,000 peaksaver devices have been installed, representing 44 megawatts of potential energy savings during peak periods. Within its first year, the program had proved so successful that the Premier of Ontario directed other local distribution companies to roll the program out across the province.

"The remarkable thing about peaksaver is that it’s not a hard sell to customers," said David O’Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Hydro Corporation. "They understand the environmental benefits, they understand that this technology reduces stress on the grid during peak periods, and they understand the need to reduce the import of expensive peak power. Customers are eager to help the province meet its energy supply challenges, and peaksaver is a terrific example of how the right technology, combined with the right customer education, can really help to jump-start change."

For the implementation of the peaksaver program, Toronto Hydro-Electric System partnered with Cannon Technologies (part of the Energy Automation Solutions Group of Cooper Power Systems), manufacturer of the switches and the system infrastructure, and with GoodCents, which manages customer eligibility and installation. The program uses a switch to reduce the electricity usage of residential central air conditioning systems, pool pumps and electric water heaters during critical peak periods for a few hours at a time. Customers are unlikely to notice any change in comfort while doing their part to conserve electricity when most needed.

"The conservation culture fostered by Toronto Hydro in Ontario has set a new standard for cost effective green power," said Mike Stoessl, President of Cooper Power Systems. "With this solution, Cooper/Cannon will enable Toronto Hydro, over the long-term, to build the equivalent of an entire power plant’s worth of capacity when they need it most – yet without the cost or environmental impact of building a power plant."

Depending on the temperature on hot days, the maximum load, the number of customers, and the number of hours in which the peaksaver devices are activated, peak load reduction will vary. For example, on August 1, 2006, the units helped shave 15.7 megawatts of peak demand from the provincial grid; and on August 2, they reduced 13.8 megawatts during a period of record-breaking heat. In 2007, peaksaver devices were put into action once, saving 33.5 megawatts. Currently, Toronto Hydro customers enrolled in the peaksaver program have the ability to shed 44 megawatts.

According to the Independent Electricity System Operator, Ontario needs enough generation capacity to meet the highest levels of demand plus an additional 1,400 MW of reserve power that can be called on in case of an emergency. Demand response programs such as peaksaver not only help to reduce peak demand; they also alleviate the need to build additional and costly large-scale generation plants.