On September 30th, 2017, Ontario’s PeaksaverPlus program which began in 2007 came to an end. The program is ending due to multiple factors, including outdated technology, new smart thermostats that are more user friendly, and customers being more informed.
The program, part of Save on Energy which is managed by the IESO, was rolled out at a cost of $270 million and was implemented in over 300,000 Ontario households. The program did have successes, many of which stem from the fact that it was a pioneer program, and smart thermostats were relatively new on the market.
It was designed to reduce demand remotely via the IESO during peak hours, however over the course of a decade it was only implemented 21 times (2 of which were on September 25th and 26th during the heatwave). This demand reduction was touted as a clean and green solution to reduce peak demand in Ontario, but ultimately it was not used frequently enough to be worthwhile. This is a prime example of how energy reduction strategies work when the customer is involved and there is an incentive to be involved. Peaksaver was initially claiming that it would save people money by reducing usage during peaks, but having only reduced usage 21 times in 10 years means very little in the long run.
There is a new wave of programs coming to replace the Peaksaver program, including the new smart thermostats for 100,000 Ontario households. This time however the responsibility and incentive to reduce usage is on the homeowner. The new smart thermostats allow users to adjust their thermostat via an app on their mobile phone, making them more convenient and easier to keep track of. Ultimately energy reduction has to be a priority of your household or business in order to benefit the environment and your bottom line. There are many resources available that businesses can seek out, however the government programs can be difficult to interpret and time consuming to go through. An energy manger, like those at Canadian Energy Strategies, can help by understanding these programs and bringing opportunities to you.