Hydro One launches energy conservation pilot projectsHydro One, owner and operator of Ontario's electricity transmission network, has introduced two innovative energy conservation pilot projects, one of which will make use of advanced Canadian-developed energy efficiency technology. The Real Time Monitoring and Residential Load Control programs will run from July 2004 to August 2005 and will involve about 1,000 customers selected from Hydro One Network's residential customer base across Ontario, and Hydro One Brampton.
The Real Time Monitoring project involves installation of a special device that gives customers the ability to track how much electricity they are using and what it is costing them. Information is displayed on a small unit called a PowerCost monitor, developed by Blue Line Innovations, of St John's, Newfoundland.
The device will help customers determine which time periods and what appliances account for the highest energy use. It will give them information they can use to adjust their energy usage, and will enable them to see immediate results of energy-saving actions. PowerCost monitors are being installed in about 500 homes in the Peterborough, Timmins, Lincoln, Barrie and Brampton areas.
The Residential Load Control project is designed to test ways of reducing household electricity use during periods of peak demand. Program participants in the Kingston, Newmarket, Simcoe and Brampton areas will be compensated for allowing Hydro One to automatically shut off their large electricity-consuming equipment for short periods of time when the power system is operating near its maximum. During the summer this would be in the afternoon on extremely hot days and would affect electric water heaters, central air conditioners and pool pumps. Electric water heaters will be controlled year-round. Supply and installation of the load control equipment is being
performed by OZZ Corporation.
Blue Line Innovations specializes in developing and providing energy technology equipment with a positive environmental impact. The firm is Canada's sole developer and provider of the PowerCost energy monitor. Real time monitoring allows consumers to make informed decisions about their energy consumption using an easy-to-install, easy-to-understand wireless unit. Studies have shown that this technology can reduce the average household's energy consumption by 10 to 20%.
"Our smart technology will put electricity users in control of their consumption by providing a real-time price signal," said Maurice Tuff, president and CEO of Blue Line Innovations. "This project is an indication our solution can help the people of Ontario reduce their electricity consumption and save money. We are well positioned for further growth as Ontario moves to adopt smart technologies that will inform people about their consumption and their savings possibilities."
The company's involvement in the Real Time Monitoring project is being assisted by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), which is making a repayable contribution of $366,900. This will support research and development, testing of the PowerCost Monitor, its implementation into home management systems and the development of a marketing strategy. An additional $88,500 under ACOA's Innovation Skills Development Initiative has enabled the company to hire two senior technical managers.
"These projects are examples of Hydro One's commitment to help our customers reduce their electricity consumption and save money," explained company president and CEO Tom Parkinson. "This not only helps individuals, but lowers strain on Ontario's power system as well." Once results of the pilot projects have been evaluated, Hydro One will assess the value of offering such programs to all of its residential customers.
Hydro One's 28,400-kilometre high-voltage transmission network delivers electricity to large industrial customers and municipal utilities, while its 122,000-kilometre low-voltage distribution system serves about 1.2 million end-use customers and smaller municipal utilities in the province. Hydro One is wholly owned by the Ontario government.
More information is available on the Hydro One Web site, www.HydroOne.com, or from Paula Dyke at Blue Line Innovations, 709/758-0226.