Ontario Businesses Join Homeowners in Quest to Reduce Province's Peak Electricity Use

    OPA Programs Key to Saving Money and Electricity

    TORONTO, Aug. 2 /CNW/ - The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is making a
significant addition to its suite of business-focused Demand Response programs
as part of its long term planning to address electricity system supply and
demand needs.
    The new Demand Response program will encourage businesses to be ready to
respond to requests to reduce their operations during peak periods - when
energy is most expensive and demands on the system are highest. Program rules
for the program were posted on the OPA's website today.
    The business-focused program, developed in co-operation with the
Independent Electricity System Operator following an extensive pilot project
in 2006, complements the existing residential peaksaver(TM) programs, which
reduces residential use during the same critical periods. Together, the
programs benefit all electricity consumers by enhancing system reliability and
reducing the need to build new generation.
    "Our primary task in the next few years is to find cost-effective ways to
reduce peak demand for electricity," says Paul Shervill, OPA Vice President of
Conservation and Sector Development. "Through Demand Response initiatives we
hope to be able to offset new growth in peak demand for a number of years to
    Later in August, the OPA expects to announce preliminary program rules
for another Demand Response program. The new program - called load-shifting -
will encourage businesses to shift part of their operations away from peak
periods of electricity use.
    "We believe these programs - along with others in the works - will create
one of the most aggressive Demand Response initiatives in North America," says
Shervill. Similar programs in other heavy power use regions, such as
California, have proven to be an effective and flexible alternative to
building new generation and transmission capabilities.
    In 2006, the OPA launched the province's first phase of Demand Response
programs by calling on Ontario's largest industrial and manufacturing
companies to voluntarily reduce power use at peak times. The pilot program
attracted six participants and yielded some 183 MW of reductions when the
system most needed it - enough to power 9,000 Ontario homes.
    "Demand Response is comparable to the residential peaksaver(TM) program,
where customers can sign up to have their air conditioners turned off during
peak periods," says OPA Director of DR and Industrial Programs, Sean Brady.
"However Demand Response for business goes well beyond cutbacks to air
conditioning and allows each participating company to examine their operations
in detail and make operational choices that suit them."
    "By predictably taking large chunks of demand off the system, we believe
that the OPA's Demand Response programs will become a critical tool for better
managing electricity demand in Ontario," he adds.

    Several Ontario companies are "early-adopters" of the OPA's Demand
Response effort:

    -   Leading Canadian integrated forest products company, Tembec,
        participated in the 2006 pilot. Tembec used the OPA's program to not
        only reduce its demand, but to significantly reduce its overall cost
        of electricity - a huge benefit in the world's highly competitive
        forestry market.

        "We're very excited that the Demand Response program has proven to be
        a win-win situation for both the Province and Tembec," says Chris
        Black, Senior Vice President of Tembec. "Overall, the program has
        helped us become a more efficient operation and our Kapuskasing
        facility has seen an 8% reduction in electricity costs since signing
        onto the program."

    -   Grocery retailer Loblaw Companies got its Demand Response effort
        going after winning a 2005 contract with the provincial government to
        reduce energy consumption in 110 of its largest stores by a total
        of 10 MW, when the system called for the reduction. The OPA now
        manages the contract.

        "Through the innovative Demand Response system, Loblaw Companies is
        proud to assist in ensuring the stability of our province's energy
        supply," says Elizabeth Margles, Vice President, Public Relations,
        Loblaw Companies. "Our stores and support offices represent one per
        cent of the province's total energy demand. It is our responsibility
        to ensure we do our part in maintaining the integrity of the system
        for our own business, but also for the homes of the millions of
        consumers who walk through our doors each week."

    -   In York Region, Rodan Energy responded to a request for what the
        industry calls "aggregators" - companies that combine and manage the
        conservation efforts of a number organizations, greatly increasing
        the reach and effectiveness of the effort. Aggregators will also play
        an important role in future OPA Demand Response programs.

        "Rodan Energy is very proud to help deliver the Demand Response
        Program to York Region," says Paul Grod, CEO of Rodan Energy. "To
        date, we have provided up to 20 MW of demand response resources to
        York Region and we're working hard to deliver up to 25 MW throughout
        the province of Ontario."

    Ontario Power Authority

    In pursuit of its mandate of ensuring an adequate, long-term supply of
electricity for Ontario, the OPA creates and implements conservation and
demand management programs, ensures adequate investment in new supply
infrastructure, performs long-term electricity system planning, and
facilitates the development of a more sustainable and competitive electricity

For further information:

For further information: Ontario Power Authority, Media and Public
Relations, (416) 969-6307 or 1-877-797-9473; Tembec, Chris Black, Senior Vice
President, (416) 864-7504; Loblaw Companies, Danielle Rouleau, (905) 459-2500
Ext 3639; Rodan Energy, Paul Grod, President, (905) 625-9900

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