Smart thermostat turns electricity conservation into community benefits

Consumers to direct value of electricity savings to Southlake Regional Health Centre

NEWMARKET, ON, May 28, 2014 /CNW/ - A pilot project involving 500 families in Newmarket will let consumers save electricity at home and earn rewards that fund equipment at the local hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre. Called engagingNewmarket™, the project starts in June and is a collaboration of Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution, IBM Canada Ltd., the Town of Newmarket, Southlake Regional Health Centre and Zerofootprint, the company that developed GOODcoins, the world's first social currency for rewarding personal and social good.

"For this pilot, the starting point is the utility's peaksaver PLUS smart thermostat, paired with Zerofootprint's software, which rewards consumers with GOODcoins for saving electricity at home," says Paul Ferguson, president of Newmarket‑Tay Power Distribution. "Consumers then choose the equipment they want their GOODcoins to help Southlake acquire."

What makes this electricity conservation program different is its link to tangible rewards to the community, in this case, Southlake Regional Health Centre., added Paul Ferguson.

"The engagingNewmarket campaign is a prime example of how our community is truly committed to investing in and supporting the care provided at Southlake," says Neila Poscente, president of the Southlake Foundation. "The equipment this program will help fund will directly impact our pediatric patients from diagnosis through to recovery stages of care.  We can't thank the engagingNewmarket team enough."

"We are excited to be partnering with Newmarket‑Tay Power Distribution to encourage evidence‑based positive behaviour in the Newmarket using GOODcoins," says Ron Dembo, founder and CEO, Zerofootprint. "GOODcoins rewards Newmarket residents for doing good and allows them to spend their rewards to help the local hospital. This innovative program will create more resilient, engaged residents and enhance the community and we are proud to be a part of it."

"The Town of Newmarket has a growing reputation as a municipality that welcomes innovation that benefits the community," says Tony Van Bynen, mayor of Newmarket. "The engagingNewmarket project represents a unique private and public partnership between our hospital, our utility and world‑class innovators like Zerofootprint and IBM. We couldn't be more proud that such a ground-breaking partnership has formed in Newmarket."

Note to editors: See advisory below for details of a media interview and photo opportunity.


Smart thermostat turns electricity conservation into community benefits

Dr. Dave Williams, Southlake Regional Health Centre's president and CEO, Neila Poscente, president and CEO of the Southlake Foundation, Paul Ferguson, Newmarket‑Tay Power Distribution president and CEO, Tony Van Bynen, mayor of Newmarket and Ron Dembo, founder and CEO of Zerofootprint, will be present to offer some remarks on the launch of engagingNewmarket.


Thursday, May 29, 2014


9:00 a.m.


Southlake Regional Health Centre

Medical Arts Building

581 Davis Drive

Newmarket, Ontario L3Y 2P6



Brief remarks to be offered by:

Neila Poscente

President & CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation

Paul Ferguson

President & CEO, Newmarket‑Tay Power Distribution

Dave Williams

President & CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre

Ron Dembo

Founder & CEO of Zerofootprint

Tony Van Bynen

Mayor, Town of Newmarket

Interviews: The speakers will be available for interviews immediately following the remarks.


engagingNewmarket pilot launches in Newmarket

The idea

Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution is offering and installing free smart thermostats to consumers through the utility's peaksaver PLUS® program. Consumers can also choose to participate in engagingNewmarket™, an additional free program, through which their electricity savings at home will be earn rewards called GOODcoins. At the end of the program, the consumers will choose the equipment (either a paediatric monitor or a diagnostic imaging radiology workstation) they wish their rewards to help fund at Southlake Regional Health Centre.

There is no cost to consumers to participate and no cost to choosing the equipment they wish their GOODcoins to support. The value of the combined conservation efforts of all participants benefits the community and that value is used to fund the equipment donation to Southlake.

The pilot and the community

The pilot begins involves approximately 500 families in Newmarket. It begins in June and runs for three months. engagingNewmarket is a collaboration of Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution, IBM Canada Ltd., the Town of Newmarket, Southlake Regional Health Centre and zerofootprint, the company that developed GOODcoins.

The peaksaver PLUS connection

The peaksaver PLUS smart thermostat is the gateway to the engagingNemarket program and allows the electricity conservation to be measured and assigned GOODcoins rewards that fund the gift to Southlake Regional Health Centre.

Through the consumer's wireless router connecting the home area network to the Internet, the WiFi‑enabled peaksaver PLUS smart thermostat reports the home's electricity usage to the consumer's personal GOODcoins webpage. The conservation savings are measured against energy‑reduction goals. The more successful the consumer is at reducing the home's electricity use, the more GOODcoins rewards are assigned.

Signing up for peaksaver PLUS

Customers of Newmarket‑Tay Power Distribution may arrange for their free (installation included) smart thermostat by calling 1 (855) 558-5283 or visiting

GOODcoins at

Participants can sign up at and take part in evidence‑based electricity reduction campaigns. The website allows them to track their progress, share and compare their activities with their neighbors, and access tips and information on energy conservation. It rewards participants with GOODcoins for every kilowatt-hour that they save. At the completion of the pilot GOODcoins earned can be spent on improving the Southlake Regional Health Care facility. It is a simple formula – do GOOD and get GOOD!

The medical equipment for Southlake

The GOODcoins rewards are designed to fund two items for use at Southlake Regional Health Centre in the care of children. A paediatric monitor measures the heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and other key vital signs when a child is recovering from surgery. A diagnostic imaging radiology workstation may be used to provide quick and accurate reading of an MRI scan of young person with a suspected concussion.

About Newmarket‑Tay Power Distribution

Newmarket‑Tay Power Distribution (NTPD) is the local electricity distribution utility responsible for serving over 33,000 residential and business customers in Newmarket and Tay Township, Ontario. An industry leader and innovator in electricity distribution systems, NTPD is widely regarded as a utility with successful experience in managing community‑based conservation programs.

About Southlake Regional Health Centre

Southlake Regional Health Centre is a full-service hospital with a regional, clinically advanced focus. Southlake offers almost 400 patient beds and accommodates more than 90,000 visits to the Emergency Department, 22,000 in-patient admissions, and 600,000 out-patient visits each year. As a regionally designated site, Southlake is responsible for developing and providing advanced levels of care to the more than one million people who reside in York Region, Simcoe County, and in some cases, as far north as Muskoka.

About Zerofootprint

Zerofootprint is a social enterprise with the aim of making large-scale positive contributions to society. To this end it has created an extensive engagement software platform, VELO® for measuring and managing behaviour change engagements and GOODcoins™, a social currency that rewards evidence-based good behaviour. Zerofootprint operates in the domains of health and wellness, electricity, energy, water and transportation.

Image with caption: "Imagined by Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution and Friends. Powered by zerofootprint. (CNW Group/Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution

For further information: Rick Butts 905 853-7395 (office); 905 717?2878 (cell)

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