Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited
Toronto Hydro Corporation

Toronto Hydro Corporation

December 03, 2007 07:00 ET

Toronto Businesses Cut Summertime Power Consumption by Almost 90 MW

Almost $4 Million in Electricity Credits Under Canada's First Summer Challenge Program for Businesses

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 3, 2007) - Two Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Toronto Hydro) programs have generated impressive power conservation results. The programs - both created to reduce summer power demand on the Toronto grid - offered a 10 per cent rebate to residential and business customers who managed to reduce 10 per cent on their summer electricity usage compared to their previous year's summer consumption usage.

The Commercial Summer Savings Program was the first of its kind in Canada. Toronto Hydro appealed to the commercial sector to reduce power consumption during the July-August summer season. Commercial buildings use up to 60 per cent of the electricity in Toronto, and their air conditioning loads drive peak demand, stressing the grid during heat waves. Approximately 24 per cent of Toronto businesses responded Toronto Hydro's call to the business community, and collectively cut electricity demand by a whopping 85 Megawatts (MW), earning rebates totalling $3.7 million.

Residential customers also took the challenge as part of the Summer Savings Program; just over 30 per cent of eligible customers reduced consumption by at least 10 per cent compared to last summer collectively earning rebates totalling $2.3 million. The average residential rebate is $16. The average commercial rebate is about $285.

The average electricity savings per business customer who reached the 10 per cent target over the program period was approximately 6,820 kilowatt hours (kWh). For residential customers, the average savings was 402 kWh. Credits started appearing on residential bills in late September, along with a congratulatory note from Toronto Hydro Corporation President and CEO David O'Brien.

"Once again, our customers prove that these programs are appealing and they're achievable," says Mr. O'Brien. "We're proud to be leaders in conservation - this type of program has never before been offered in Canada. The commercial sector uses the majority of electricity in Toronto; driving peak loads during summertime, so this program is very important and relevant to the city. People often say to me, why aren't companies doing their part? Well, this past summer, they did."

The rebate is particularly significant to business customers who will receive fairly large rebates based on their usage. For example, one of Toronto Hydro's largest customers - Owens Corning - saved 22.9 per cent (4,835,842 kWh) resulting in a credit just over $136,000. This plant makes the famous Pink Panther insulation, a task that requires significant amounts of electricity to run the equipment that melts glass and turns it into fibreglass. By looking at a number of smaller ways to save electricity, the company managed to achieve the highest rebate by changing their lighting, reducing their plant air pressure, repairing air leaks, and replacing fan blades.

Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) is the largest horseracing operation in Canada with 322 days of racing and over 2,000 slot machines within a 56,000 square foot themed gaming area. It takes a lot of electricity to keep Woodbine running. Despite this, WEG managed to find almost 551,494 kWh in savings, winning them a rebate of approximately $40,000.

Novelis Foil Products also reduced their summer electricity use by 11.28 per cent (90,522 kWh) and will receive a credit of $6,875 on their next Toronto Hydro bill. They achieved the savings by implementing a number of measures such as: replacing lighting with more efficient fixtures; encouraging office employees to turn off lights whenever possible and practicable; and upgrading office HVAC controls to have a night setback feature and raising the temperature in the office by 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Dr. Franz Hartman, executive director for the Toronto Environmental Alliances comments that the program is helping Torontonians clean the air and save money. "The success of the program shows that when you provide innovative tools to help businesses and residential customers conserve electricity, they'll use them."

And, under the Summer Savings program these 142,699 residential customers have collectively saved more than 57,468,532 kWh to date - equivalent to removing 12,295 tonnes of greenhouse gas from the environment.

Quick Stats:

- 74,330 business and residential customers saved 20% or more;
- 31,887 business and residential customers saved 15 to 20%; and
- 49,328 business and residential customers saved 10 to 15%.

There are more than a few runner-up customers. So far, 34,279 customers have come just short of the target and reduced their energy usage anywhere from six to nine per cent. Although these customers did not receive a summer challenge rebate for reducing their consumption by 10 per cent, they did save on their electricity bill.

Toronto Hydro reads approximately 85,000 meters each week and has a total of 678,000 customers. Under the Summer Challenge program, approximately 525,906 residential and small commercial customers were eligible for the program that ran from July 1 to August 31. The programs were made possible through funding from the Ontario Power Authority.

Toronto Hydro's CDM program aims to reduce peak demand in Toronto by 250MW. To achieve this goal, the company has dedicated $29.8 million to conservation and demand management programs through 2007.

About Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

A wholly owned subsidiary of Toronto Hydro Corporation, Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited delivers electricity through a complex network of poles, wires and underground structures to 678,000 customers and distributes approximately 19 per cent of the electricity in the province of Ontario. Toronto Hydro Corporation is own 100 per cent by the City of Toronto.

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