Electricity Efficiency Tips,  Heating & Cooling Incentives,  Rebates & Incentives,  Tips

peaksaver®

Are you eligible?

To join peaksaver and the thousands of Ontarians who are already helping to lessen the strain on the province’s electricity system:
  • Your electric utility must be participating in peaksaver.
  • You must have an account with a participating electric utility.
  • You must be a homeowner in a single-family dwelling with central air conditioning (CAC), OR
  • You must be renting or leasing a single-family dwelling with CAC and have approval from your landlord to participate.
Additionally, if you meet the above criteria AND have an electric water heater, you may choose to have it cycled down for short periods of time along with your CAC (depending on your electric utility). If you’re eligible for peaksaver, all you need to do is contact your participating electric utility and they will do the rest – at no cost to you.

How Can You Enrol?

You’ve made a great decision to join; simply contact your participating electric utility to enrol in peaksaver.
You’ve made a great decision to join! All electric utilities who are participating in peaksaver are listed below. If you know the name of your electric utility, simply click on their name below which will lead you directly to their peaksaver web page, or you can call them directly to enrol. If you do not know the name of your electric utility or it is not listed below.
Local Electricity Distribution Company Telephone number
Bluewater Power Distribution Inc. 1-866-567-8201
Brant County Power Inc. 1-877-871-2215
Brantford Power Inc. 519-756-1360
Burlington Hydro Inc. 1-866-520-1663
Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro Inc. 519-621-3530
Centre Wellington Hydro Ltd. 1-866-380-6051
Chatham-Kent Hydro Inc. 519-352-6300
Clinton Power Corporation 1-866-727-1611
E.L.K. Energy Inc. 1-866-727-1611
East Zorra-Tavistock – Erie Thames Powerlines 1-866-727-1611
Enersource Hydro Mississauga Inc. 1-866-323-0206
Enwin Powerlines Ltd. 519-255-2727 option #6
Erie Thames Powerlines Corp. 1-866-727-1611
Essex Powerlines 519-776-8900 ext. 560
Festival Hydro Inc. 519-271-4700 1-866-444-9370
Greater Sudbury Hydro Inc. 705-675-7536 ext 2272 or 2283
Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. 519-822-3010
Haldimand County Hydro Inc. 1-877-872-2570
Halton Hills Hydro Inc. 1-866-701-4551
Horizon Utilities 1-866-323-0206
Hydro One Brampton Inc. 1-866-380-6051
Hydro One Networks Inc. 1-866-380-6051
Hydro Ottawa Limited 1-866-813-2226
Innisfil Hydro Distribution Systems 705-431-4321
Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc. 1-866-869-8406
LakeFront Utilities Inc. 1-866-380-6051
Middlesex Power Distribution Corporation 519-245-2010
Midland Power Utility Corp. 1-866-380-6051
Newmarket Hydro 905-895-2309
Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. 1-866-567-8203
Norfolk Power Inc. 519-426-4440
Oakville Hydro Corporation 1-866-514-6778
Orangeville Hydro Limited 1-866-380-6051
Oshawa PUC Networks Inc. 1-866-567-8205
Peterborough Distribution Inc. 705-748-6900
PowerStream Inc. 1-866-323-0206
Renfrew Hydro 613-432-4884
St. Thomas Energy Services Inc. 519-631-5550 ext. 222
Tay Hydro 705-534-7281
Tillsonburg Hydro Inc. 519-842-9200
Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited 1-877-487-8574
Veridian Connections Inc. 1-866-323-0206
Waterloo North Hydro Inc. 519-885-6840
Welland Hydro-Electric System Corp. 905-732-1381
West Perth Power Inc. 1-866-727-1611
Woodstock Hydro Services Inc. 1-866-380-6051

Understanding Electricity Demand

Here are a few definitions to explain electricity demand and its connection to peaksaver:

Electricity System: includes the generation, transmission, distribution and consumption of electricity.

Electricity Demand:
There are two types of electricity demand:

  • Baseload Demand : results from continuous uses of electricity from such things in the home as refrigerators, freezers that are on continuously throughout the day.
  • Peak Demand: During hot summer weekdays, thousands of central air conditioners (CACs) are all running at the same time, the demand for electricity is at its highest and is referred to as ‘peak demand’. Typically, peak demand in Ontario occurs on weekdays between 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Supply can be increased but it is expensive and can increase costs and impact the environment. By signing up for peaksaver, you are helping to reduce the amount of electricity your home’s CAC uses.

Demand Response: is a way to manage the demand from customers in response to the strain on Ontario’s electricity supply system. By adjusting air conditioners across the province, peaksaver helps shift the demand.

How does peaksaver work?

Once you are enrolled in peaksaver and the device (either thermostat or switch) is installed at your home, it can be remotely activated by your participating electric utility to slightly reduce your CAC’s electricity demand automatically. This won’t sacrifice your control or the comfort of your home. Activations would only occur:

  • on those occasional steamy summer days when the electricity system can be stretched to its limit and electricity consumption is at its highest. When activated, your CAC will continue to cool your home, however, in half-hour timeframes your CAC will be adjusted on and off. For the first fifteen minutes it will continue to produce cool air and for the second fifteen minutes, the fan continues to run to circulate the cool air in your home.
  • on weekdays (Monday through Friday) from May 1 to September 30.
  • for a maximum of ten activations during the summer and only for a total of four hours during any one activation. In 2008, peaksaver was activated only five times.
  • your system’s fan will continue to operate so that there is only a 1° or 2° change in temperature of your home
  • You can always opt out in advance of a specified date by contacting your participating electric utility.
  • The devices and installation are free and your participating electric utility is there to help you should you have any questions.

Most participants note that they do not even feel a change in the temperature of their home..

Looking for more ways to reduce your electricity demand?

During times of peak demand, here are simple steps you can take to reduce electricity demand:

  • Wait until after 8 p.m. in the evening to run large appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers.
  • Run your electrically heated above-ground pool pump for just 12 hours per day (between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m.) instead of around the clock.
  • Turn off all of the unnecessary lights around your home.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs – they use 75% less electricity and last 10 times longer.
  • In the summer, set your central air conditioner to 25° C when you are home and to 28° C when you are away for the day.
  • Use ceiling fans to help circulate the cool air and make you feel cooler when you are in a room. In the summer the blades should rotate to move the air down to help produce a cooling breeze. In the winter, air should be moved upwards towards the ceiling to disperse the warm air that tends to accumulate there and distribute more evenly in the room.
  • If you have an old secondary refrigerator that you rarely use, arrange to have it picked up for free.
  • When properly set, your programmable thermostat can help reduce your heating and cooling cost by up to 10%.
  • Use an outdoor clothesline to dry items instead of your dryer. It will save you money and make your clothes smell great.

For more ways to save electricity and money, please check out our TIPS.

* Offer may vary by service provider

FAQ

During hot summer weekdays, when central air conditioners are running at their maximum, the demand for electricity is at its highest.  These times are know as ‘peak demand’.  If you have a central air conditioner (CAC), you can help the province to manage this peak demand by enrolling in peaksaver.  It’s easy and it’s free!  Your participating electric utility will install the necessary device (either a thermostat or switch) enabling your CAC to receive a signal that will cycle it down which may increase your home’s temperature by only 1° or 2°C for short periods of time.  The adjustment will only occur Monday to Friday between 1:00 to 10:00pm but most likely between 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. and never on weekends or holidays,

Any residential customer of participating electric utility with central air conditioning is eligible for the peaksaver program.

  • Your electric utility must be participating in peaksaver.
  • You must have an account with a participating electric utility.
  • You must be a homeowner in a single-family dwelling with central air conditioning (CAC), OR
  • You must be renting or leasing a single-family dwelling with CAC and have approval from your landlord to participate.
    Additionally, if you meet the above criteria AND have an electric water heater, you may choose to have it cycled down for short periods of time along with your CAC (depending on your electric utility).
Once you are enrolled in peaksaver and the device (either a thermostat or switch) is installed at your home, it can be remotely activated by your participating electric utility to slightly reduce your CAC’s electricity demand automatically. This won’t sacrifice your control or the comfort of your home. Activations would only occur:
  • on those occasional steamy summer days when the electricity system can be stretched to its limit and electricity consumption is at its highest.
  • on weekdays (Monday through Friday) from May 1 to September 30. Never on weekends or holidays.
  • for a maximum of ten activations during the summer and only for a total of four hours during any one activation. As an example; in 2008, the peaksaver program was activated only five times.
    • your system’s fan will continue to operate so that there is only a 1 or 2° change in temperature of your home.
    • you can always opt out in advance of a specified date by contacting your participating electric utility.
Most participants note that they do not even feel a change in the temperature of their home.
On those occasional steamy summer weekdays (Monday through Friday), between 1:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. from May 1 to September 30. Most activations are likely to occur between 1p.m. – 6p.m. Never on weekends or holidays. for a maximum of ten activations during the summer and only for a total of four hours during any one activation. As an example; in 2008, the peaksaver program was activated only five times.

Based on the technology your participating electric utility has acquired for their consumers, they will install one of two devices in your home:

  • Switch: is installed on your CACs compressor (which is located outside).
  • Thermostat: this programmable thermostat will replace your current thermostat.  You can control this thermostat over the web.  This would enable you to turn off your CAC when you are at work and turn it on so that your home is comfortable when you arrive.
By participating in the program you’ll be joining over 170,000 other Ontarians who are doing their part to reduce the strain on the electricity system. At the same time, you are doing something important for your community and the environment. Once you’ve enrolled and had the device installed, we’ll be happy to recognize your participation with a $25 incentive. Depending on where you are and the technology available in your area, a programmable thermostat or a switch will be offered.

It won’t cost you a thing and there are no ongoing maintenance costs. Plus it’s easy to enrol!  As a ‘thank you’ for enrolling and having the device installed, you’ll receive $25.

Absolutely! You’ll join the tens of thousands already participating in peaksaver and this will allow us to reduce the strain on the system during times of peak electricity demand. By joining you are making a significant contribution to conserving electricity and helping to improve your community and our environment.

When just two households participate in peaksaver, they can reduce enough electricity demand to meet the average electricity needs of one other household in Ontario during a time of peak demand.

We expect that the peaksaver program will reduce the strain on the electricity system during the summer on those occasionally hot summer days. This means there will be less need to purchase electricity from elsewhere and that saves everyone money by keeping electricity prices low.

If your home has a separate central air conditioning unit and you have an account with a participating electric utility, then you’re eligible to participate in the program.

This won’t sacrifice your control or the comfort of your home.  When you give your participating electric utility permission to send a signal to slightly adjust your CAC, you’re helping the electricity system during times of peak demand.  When activated, your CAC will continue to cool your home, however, in half-hour timeframes your CAC will be adjusted on and off.  For the first fifteen minutes it will continue to produce cool air and for the second fifteen minutes, the fan continues to run to circulate the cool air in your home.

  • These half-hour increments will last no longer than four hours at a time on any one day.
  • Most participants noted that they could not feel a difference in the temperature or comfort of their home when the activations occurred.
  • You can always opt out in advance of a specified date by contacting your participating electric utility.
  • The devices and installation are free and your participating electric utility is there to help you should you have any questions.

No because the technology takes this into account.  The remotely-controlled devices reduce the electricity usage but don’t turn off your central air conditioner. As well, the central air conditioners participating in the program are adjusted at different times within each hour which also works to avoid a power surge.

Everyone can help reduce strain on the electricity system.  There is a peaksaver program that is aimed at small businesses who use less than 50kW.  If you are a small business owner, find out more. peaksaver is targeted at homes and small business but there are many conservation programs for large commercial properties and industry as well. For example, there is a program similar to peaksaver wherein companies sign contracts to reduce their electricity consumption during peak periods.

The program is entirely voluntary. We’re confident that people will find it to be an easy way to help reduce the strain on our electricity system and benefit communities and the environment.

Absolutely not. We will not have access to any other system in your house. If you choose to participate in peaksaver, your participating electric utility will only have access to the central air conditioning and electric hot water heater (if available in your area).

That will depend on your participating electric utility and the type of device they are installing to manage the program. Contact your electric utility for more information.

We can understand your concern for security. Rest assured that the installation will be done by qualified installers working on behalf of your participating electric utility. When the installers come to your door feel free to ask them for identification to show that they are working on behalf of your participating electric utility.

The installation will be done by qualified installers working on behalf of your participating electric utility. They are well trained and will carry appropriate liability insurance.

In periods where demand for electricity is very high, it becomes more likely that we will rely on gas and coal-fired plants to meet the shortfall. These plants release greenhouse gases and contribute to air pollution.

We are always looking for ways to help our customers and our province conserve electricity. Initiatives like peaksaver help everyone in the long run by reducing the strain on our electricity system. peaksaver will help to reduce the emissions caused by electricity generation.

You must have central air conditioning to participate. If you have a central air conditioning system some electric utilities also offer their customers the ability to include their electric water heater when enrolling.  Just check with your participating electric utility to be certain.

The program will only be activated Monday to Friday most likely between 1:00p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and between May 1st and September 30th.  Most activations are likely to occur between 1p.m. – 6p.m. never on weekends or holidays. If you would like to opt out on a particular date, please contact your participating electric utility and you will be able to opt out for a particular day.  Electric utilities will require some advanced notice.

Yes, if for whatever reason you are not happy, please contact your electric utility to speak to a representative.

No it will not be shut off.  When you are enrolled in peaksaver slight adjustments are only made to your CAC and (where available) your electric water heater.  For central air conditioners and electric water heaters, the only difference may be a very slight difference in temperature – most people won’t notice a change at all.

No, participating in the program is easy and requires no effort, time or investment.

Your questions are always welcomed. Questions about this program can be directed to your electric utility.

No. As it stands now, the program is currently limited to customers with central air conditioning systems. If you have central air conditioning, you may be able to also add an electric water heater. This varies by participating electric utilities.

Although a high-efficiency system uses less electricity than an older or less efficient system, any and all electricity savings are helpful during times when the electricity system is strained.

Cool Savings Rebate
Enjoy this season in comfort. Up to $550 in rebates is available for replacing your heating and/or cooling system with a more efficient, qualified model. To learn more, click here.

The Great Refrigerator Roundup
You could save up to $150 per year in electricity? Book an appointment and we’ll come pick it up for FREE – we’ll even haul it out of your basement for you. While we’re there, we can also remove your old window air conditioner or dehumidifier. To book your appointment or to learn more, click here.

* Fridges and freezers must be at least 15 years old, in working condition and between 10 and 27 cubic feet.

For other programs click here.