PowerStream Inc.

PowerStream Inc.

July 09, 2008 09:40 ET

PowerStream Activates peaksaver® for the First Time

Summer heat wave causes electricity system to break a sweat

YORK REGION, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 9, 2008) - As outside temperatures with the humidex climbed to nearly 40 degrees Tuesday, PowerStream, along with several other utilities in the province, activated thousands of customers' peaksaver® load control devices for the first time to help lower power demand on a strained electricity grid.

peaksaver®, a conservation program funded by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), enables local electric utilities during high peak demand times over the summer, to remotely cycle down central air conditioning units of participating customers.

The activation of the peaksaver® devices between two and six o'clock on Tuesday afternoon involved more than 2,500 PowerStream customers who had previously registered with the program and in return received a free programmable thermostat as well as $25.

In some cases the cycling down of central air conditioning units may have slightly raised in-home temperatures but the net impact was an overall decrease of electricity demand across the province.

"I think peaksaver is a great idea," Leslie Kerr, a PowerStream customer and peaksaver® participant who was home for part of activation period, said. "We didn't notice any change."

Kerr, a resident of Markham, added that he is proud to be a participant in a program which helps reduce power consumption and lower demand across the province.

"We were pleased to be one of the utilities involved in the first activation of the peaksaver® load control program," Brian Bentz, President and CEO of PowerStream, said. "It serves as an example of how utilities and customers can work together to maximize our conservation efforts when electricity supply is constrained."

During peak demand times, Ontario has to buy power from other jurisdictions, which contributes to increasing the overall cost of electricity. By reducing demand, peaksaver® participants help to mitigate the province's need to purchase higher-priced electricity as well as the impact on the environment from using peaking generators to meet electricity shortfalls.

Air conditioner consumes a great deal of electricity. It is important for home owners to also remember that reducing air conditioning use saves money and helps the environment.

Here are some fast and easy ways to lower air conditioning use:

- Close drapes on the sunny side of your house

- Close off rooms that are not in use and the cooling ducts to those rooms

- Turn off lights when not in use - lights produce heat and as a result make air conditioning units work harder (and cost more)

- Turn off computers and other home office equipment - they generate heat as well

- Check and replace filters regularly, a dirty filter can be cause air conditioning units to work overtime

Participants in PowerStream's peaksaver® program, receive a free Honeywell thermostat, valued at $250, installed in their homes or businesses by a certified technician at no charge. This programmable thermostat also provides customers with the ability to control the temperature in their home remotely through the internet.

To be eligible to sign up for peaksaver®, PowerStream residential customers must own their own home and have a newer central air conditioner. Business customers are eligible if their air conditioning units are approximately the same size as those used by residential customers. For more information on this program, please visit the PowerStream website at www.powerstream.ca/peaksaver or call 1-866-323-0206.

About PowerStream Inc.

PowerStream Inc. is the third largest local electricity distribution company (LDC) in Ontario, providing service to more than 240,000 residential and business customers in the municipalities of Aurora, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. It is an incorporated entity, jointly owned by the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham.

® Registered trademark of Toronto Hydro. Used under license.

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