Summer Heat Prompts Ontario's First Province-Wide Activation of peaksaver(R) Demand Reduction Program



    TORONTO, July 9 /CNW/ - With Ontario's first significant summer heat upon
us, peaksaver, a residential and small business electricity demand reduction
program that temporarily powers down central air conditioning systems was
activated for the first time provincewide yesterday.
    It's estimated that the program, designed and administered by the Ontario
Power Authority (OPA) and co-ordinated by the Independent Electricity System
Operator (IESO), saved in excess of 40 megawatts during a day in which
temperatures reached as high as 32 degrees and the humidex went as high as 38
in some parts of the province. The 40 MW of peak reduction is equivalent to
the peak electricity requirements of about 10,000 homes. peaksaver will be
activated throughout the summer as needed to mitigate peak demand.
    "We are committed to ensuring that Ontario has the power it needs during
times of peak electricity demand," said George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and
Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "That's why more than 3,700 megawatts
of clean, new supply has come on line since 2003, and it is why conservation
and demand management are central to this government's energy plan. The OPA's
peaksaver program is an important part of that focus, and a simple, easy way
for Ontarians to help cut overall demand on hot days. I'd like to thank every
Ontarian who is already a peaksaver participant and encourage those who are
still thinking about it to sign up today."
    With peaksaver, participating homeowners and small businesses volunteer
to have a device (thermostat or switch) installed to allow a wireless signal
to temporarily cycle air conditioning on and off with minimal impact on
comfort levels; they receive $25 to have the device installed and the overall
system saves money as a result. The program is offered by 47 local electricity
distribution companies (LDCs) across the province. More than 80,000 homes and
businesses have signed up so far.
    "peaksaver is part of a portfolio of conservation programs funded by the
OPA to enable Ontario to better manage its demand for electricity during the
summer and all year round," said Paul Shervill, OPA Vice President,
Conservation and Sector Development. "We expect peaksaver to contribute
significantly to our demand management efforts and it will be complemented by
our Demand Response 3 (DR 3) program, which targets large industrial loads,
later this summer."
    Residents who participated in targeted activations of peaksaver last
summer reported that they hardly noticed when a cycle-down had taken place.
During the four-hour period when an activation has occurred there is only a
very small rise in temperature because air conditioners are only turned down,
not off entirely. Over the course of a summer, it's anticipated that peaksaver
will be activated about 10 times. With some participating LDCs, peaksaver can
also be applied to reduce the power consumed by electric water heaters in
homes with central air conditioning.
    Peaksaver is complemented by three other OPA programs supporting the
residential sector and the OPA has several other business focused programs;
for more information please visit: www.everykilowattcounts.com. Ontarians
interested in participating in peaksaver should contact their LDC for more
information.
    By the end of this year, the OPA expects to be offering 26 conservation
programs in total. As part of the OPA's Integrated Power System Plan (IPSP),
it has been proposed that Ontario invest $10.2 billion in conservation over 20
years.

    The OPA is responsible for ensuring a reliable, sustainable supply of
electricity for Ontario. Its four key areas of focus are: planning the power
system for the long term, leading and co-ordinating conservation initiatives
across the province, ensuring development of needed generation resources and
supporting the continued commercial evolution of the electricity sector.

    (R) Trademark of Toronto Hydro Corporation. Used under licence.





For further information:

For further information: Ontario Power Authority, (416) 969-6307

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