Toronto Hydro, Home Depot to offer incentives for 30 MW peak load reduction
Toronto Hydro-Electric System is investing $5.4 million in a three-year program with The Home Depot Canada designed to provide incentives to industrial, commercial and residential electricity users in Toronto to lower their energy consumption. Over the course of the partnership, the companies plan to introduce a variety of programs intended to achieve up to 30.8 megawatts (MW) in peak load reduction--enough electricity to meet the needs of a city the size of Orillia.
The program represents the first major step toward fulfilling Toronto Hydro's commitment to reduce peak energy consumption in Toronto by 250 MW. To achieve this goal, the company will dedicate $39.8 million to conservation and demand management (CDM) programs through 2007.
The first step in the inaugural program with The Home Depot will target inefficient residential lighting. More than 590,000 Toronto Hydro residential customers will receive will receive a coupon in their April, May or June statement entitling them to two compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs for the price of one. The energy savings gained from this initiative are expected to equal the power needed for 300,000 100-watt bulbs. The coupons will be redeemable April through June at any of The Home Depot's 12 Toronto stores.
Lighting makes up approximately 20% of the average Ontarian's electricity use in-home, yet few homeowners have made the effort to switch to CFL bulbs, which typically use 75% less energy to achieve the same lighting output as traditional incandescent bulbs. The life rating of CFLs is up to 10,000 hours, ten times that of normal incandescents.
Also as part of this initiative, The Home Depot will provide additional knowledgeable associates in stores to facilitate the programs and help provide customers information and expertise to help them reduce energy consumption in and around their homes. The retailer will use its multi-channel marketing capability to promote the programs, while providing the necessary technology to measure the progress and success of the initiative.
"This is a big milestone for us," said Toronto Hydro president and CEO David O'Brien. "We're investing almost $40 million to develop programs that will deliver 250MW in peak reduction. It complements other Toronto Hydro projects, such as our smart meter and load control pilot programs, the wind turbine at Exhibition Place, our solar energy installation at our Commissioners Street facility, and consumer education workshops."
Customers receiving E-bills should visit www.torontohydro.com and log on to receive their coupon.
Over the course of the partnership, the companies also plan to unveil further specific initiatives targeting small commercial, large commercial and industrial customers. In the coming months as well, Toronto Hydro expects to announce more programs that will reduce peak energy demand.
In other environment-related activities, The Home Depot and Evergreen are inviting community stewardship groups across the country to apply for up to $5,000 in funding under the Home Depot/Evergreen Rebuilding Nature grant program. This new program was created to promote the regeneration of urban areas by providing grants to local groups for projects relating to habitat restoration and community garden projects.
Grants will be awarded to up to 30 applicants for projects such as native greenery planting, habitat maintenance, caring for community gardens containing native plants, enhancement and development of trails and boardwalks, and public education. The groups will receive a combination of funding, tools and materials, as well as volunteer and expert resources that will cover up to 50% of total project costs.
Program details and application forms are available on the Evergreen Web site, www.evergreen.ca. The deadline for applications is May 16, 2005. Grant recipients will be notified in June 2005, and projects must be underway by December 2005.