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ENERGY MANAGEMENT

Energy Management

Making Ontario's electricity market work for your business.

In today's competitive economy, every business needs to trim costs. As a company that pays the wholesale price of electricity, it's possible you are paying more than you need to - and there are a number of options to help you better manage these costs.

Interval Meters

If you have a meter that only tracks how much electricity you consume, the energy price charged by your local utility is weighted against the consumption patterns of its customers that also don't have interval meters, and then averaged out over the billing period. If you have an interval meter, you pay the actual hourly price for each kilowatt you consume.

Installing an interval meter is also the first step in energy management. If you know how much electricity you are using at any time of the day, and how much that electricity costs, then you can start thinking about ways to shift your electricity consumption to less expensive times of the day. More information about interval meters.

Load Shifting

If you do use an interval meter, or plan to install one, you can reschedule operations according to pricing patterns. If there are processes you can run over night, or early in the day, it's likely you'll generate significant savings. To do this, you will need to familiarize yourself with the factors that influence prices and monitor demand and price activity. The Demand and Price page provides an overview of daily market information - including the forecast of when the expected demand peak of the day will take place, which is usually, the most expensive time of the day.

Conservation

Use less energy without compromising production. Investing in energy efficiency will generate dividends for your operations. It could be as simple as installing more efficient lighting systems and turning them off at night; or, it could be as complex as a comprehensive energy plan calling for streamlined manufacturing processes.

Natural Resources Canada offers a wealth of energy information for commercial and industrial users. For example, the Energy Efficiency and Planning Management Guide walks you through how to improve energy efficiency in a wide range of industrial processes. Natural Resources Canada also offers a range of energy saving tips for the workplace, including Industrial Facilities and Commercial and Industrial Buildings.

Retail Contracts

You may prefer the peace of mind that comes from knowing exactly what your electricity price will be, no matter what happens in the market. A retail contract, offering fixed prices are similar to a mortgage with fixed terms. You may choose to purchase some of your electricity supply at wholesale prices with the remainder through retail contracts.

Self-Generation

Generating your own power on-site to help run your facilities can be another option. This kind of generation can include gas-fired microturbines, diesel generators, wind turbines, a small-scale hydro facility, solar power and thermal generation. It can be a particularly attractive option if you can use some of the by-products of the generation such as steam and heat for other uses.

Depending on your costs, self-generation can be used to replace your existing supply from the power system during peak hours when the price of electricity is higher and it becomes more economic to generate your own power. You may also have the added option of selling any extra generation that you don't need to your local utility - or even to the wholesale market.

More information about small-scale generation facilities is available on the Distributed Generation page. Your local utility can provide more information about the technical requirements for installing generation at your facilities. The IESO (e-mail customer.relations@ieso.ca) can also provide information about the options for selling your electricity into the wholesale market and how to register to participate.

RELATED INFORMATION

MANAGING YOUR ELECTRICITY COSTS

Download the Brochure...

By understanding how and when your facility uses electricity, you will be able to discover opportunities to cuts costs and boost profits. Download this PDF version of the brochure, or order a hard copy by contacting us at corporate.communications @ieso.ca. We also want your feedback on this information, so please send us your comments and suggestions.