Martin Luymes, director of the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Contractors of Canada (HRAC), and Mel Little, HRAC contractor representative, met with Toronto Hydro to discuss how HVAC contractors might become more involved in the utility's peakSAVER program.

The program offers Toronto homeowners and small businesses incentive to install special load management devices on their central air conditioning systems and, where appropriate, on their pool heaters and water heaters. These devices allow the utility to send a signal the participant's air conditioning system, during peak load periods only, that will then intermittently shut the system off. According to Toronto Hydro, participants in the program should experience an overall increase in indoor air temperature of less than 1 degree Celsius.

The Toronto Hydro program is currently being implemented by an electrical contracting firm through a contractual relationship with the service provider. HRAC is discussing how the program might be broadened to include HVAC contractors who already have extensive customer relationships and are in a position both to install the devices and to advise homeowners and business owners of their impact on indoor comfort. Toronto Hydro is currently considering this proposal. It is widely expected that the peakSAVER program will soon be adopted and introduced by at least six or seven other large local electricity distribution companies across the province.

Publication date: 04/03/2006