Electricity peak demand control program results in significant load reduction in Toronto

70 megawatts dropped through load control

TORONTO, June 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Electricity loads in Toronto were steadily climbing on Tuesday, until Toronto Hydro  activated approximately 67,000 residential air conditioner control switches, and industrial/commercial buildings participating in the "DR 3" program began to curtail electricity consumption. At 2:00 PM on Tuesday, June 19th, the city's electricity usage peaked at 4,602 megawatts (MW).  At that point, as directed by the IESO, Toronto Hydro triggered its peaksaver and DR3 programs, dropping the peak by more than 70 MW through the remainder of the afternoon. Toronto Hydro estimates that at least 50 MW of the drop was related to the "cycling" of residential air conditioners in neighbourhoods across Toronto.

The 70 MW total is the equivalent of taking approximately 21,000 homes off the grid, or the cities of Kenora and Orillia combined.  One megawatt is equal to one million watts.

Currently, there are about 67,000 customers who have signed on for peaksaver.  These 'peaksavers' generally don't notice and often forget that they're part of this city-wide effort to curtail usage in high demand times.  It works remotely - Toronto Hydro sends a signal to the switch installed adjacent to a central air conditioner, slowing down the cycle.  Because the fan continues to run, most don't notice a difference in temperature inside the home.  But the results speak for themselves.

Businesses stepped up too.  The DR3 (DEMAND RESPONSE CONTRACTUAL DR3) program is a "saveONenergy program" designed to offset electricity usage or shed electricity load when needed.  Generally, customers signed up for the program help by turning off lights or motors, shifting production to other periods, or drawing electricity supply from an onsite generator.

Toronto Hydro is still encouraging customers to conserve where they can, especially during peak times (11 am to 5pm).


  • peaksaver was first introduced in Ontario by Toronto Hydro in 2005.  Today peaksaver PLUS is available to existing and new customers, those who sign up will receive a free in-home Energy Display.  This display, communicates with the smart meter, allowing the customer to see how much electricity they're using at any particular time in KW hours and what it would cost per hour.
  • For more information on peaksaverPLUS, go to www.torontohydro.com/peaksaver or call 1-877-487-8574
  • Demand Response programs, like DR3 compensate participating industrial and commercial businesses for reducing their energy demand at specific times of power system need.  During such times wholesale market prices for electricity may be high, the power system is experiencing large peaks in demand, or there is a greater risk to the reliability of the electricity grid.  More information can be found at www.torontohydro.com/business

About Toronto Hydro 
The principal business of the Corporation and its subsidiaries is the distribution of electricity by Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited. Toronto Hydro-Electric System owns and operates an electricity distribution system, which delivers electricity to approximately 709,000 customers located in the City of Toronto. It is the largest municipal electricity distribution company in Canada and distributes approximately 18% of the electricity consumed in the Province of Ontario.

The information in these materials is based on information currently available to Toronto Hydro Corporation and its affiliates (together hereinafter referred to as "Toronto Hydro"), and is provided for information purposes only.

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SOURCE Toronto Hydro Corporation

For further information:

Media contact:

Tanya Bruckmueller, Toronto Hydro-Electric System 
W: 416-542-2621 
C: 416-903-0440


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