Canadian utilities energy saving trends
By John McMalcolm
Energy bills are expected to keep rising in certain parts of Canada, and therefore, households and businesses should start taking effective measures to save energy.
Conserving energy does not only result in significant monetary savings; it can also contribute positively to the environment.
Canadians who wish to lower their energy consumption can seek advice from their utility companies. Most of the utility companies in the country offer helpful information and a variety of programs to help their customers save money.
Providing energy saving tips
Canadians need to develop energy-saving habits in order to gain substantial savings.
They can learn how to do this by visiting the websites of their utility companies. Most utilities in Canada offer energy-conservation tips and tools on their websites.
For instance, Ontario utility company Independent Electricity System Operator, or IESO, has a page that offers many year-round and season-specific tips for reducing energy consumption and Manitoba Hydro provides a tool for comparing typical heat and water costs in homes. Some energy-saving measures may involve remodeling work or the purchase of certain devices, while others can be done with just a little extra effort.
Energy-saving programs and products
Another thing that Canadians can do to reduce their energy costs is to participate in the energy-conservation programs that are offered by their utilities.
These programs may be developed by utility companies, state energy authorities or manufacturers of energy-efficient products, and they include demand response programs, heating and cooling incentive programs, appliance rebate programs, fridge buy-back programs and others.
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One of the most effective energy-saving programs that are available in Canada is the peaksaver PLUS program.
Administered by Honeywell, this program is being offered by several Ontario-based utility companies, such as Hydro Ottawa, Burlington Hydro, PowerStream and Horizon Utilities.
It provides customers with tools such as the UtilityPRO programmable thermostat and PowerCost Monitor to enable them to manage their energy consumption more effectively.
Most energy-conservation programs involve the use of certain energy-saving devices, which can range from smart meters to compact fluorescent lights. Some utilities also offer discount coupons for energy-efficient products, as well as rewards for certain amounts of energy saved.
Assistance for low-income energy consumers
State energy boards, utility companies and energy consumer associations in Canada have been working together to develop a number of programs to help low-income households deal with rising energy costs.
One program that low-income households can apply for is the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, or LEAP. This program consists of three components, namely, emergency financial assistance, targeted energy-conservation programs and special rules for low-income customers.
Some utility companies also offer free energy-saving kits, home energy assessment, energy coaching and energy-efficient upgrades for low-income households.
If they are willing to work with their utility companies, Canadians can learn many effective ways to reduce their energy costs.
By following energy-saving tips, using energy-efficient devices and upgrading their homes or buildings, they may be able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.
About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, including "why businesses should adopt cloud computing", "how a bill alertaffects credit score" and others.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.