Frequently Asked Questions About peaksaver PLUS®

 

What is peaksaver PLUS?

peaksaver PLUS is a saveONenergyOM program offered by Toronto Hydro and funded by the Ontario Power Authority to help Ontarians reduce the strain on the electricity grid. As a new peaksaver PLUS participant, we will install a small device near your central air conditioner, electric water heater and/or pool pump - PLUS you will receive an in-home Energy Display to monitor your home’s electricity consumption, free of charge.

How is peaksaver PLUS different from peaksaver®?

peaksaver PLUS operates in the same way as our previous peaksaver program; however, with the PLUS program you are eligible to receive an in-home Energy Display, free of charge, to monitor your home’s electricity consumption.

Can anyone enrol in peaksaver PLUS?

Any Toronto Hydro customer (residential or commercial), that has a central air conditioner, electric water heater and/or pool pump and agrees to the peaksaver PLUS terms and conditions is eligible to participate. If you do not own your home or building, the owner will be required to provide Toronto Hydro with written consent/authorization to install the device on the premises. Current peaksaver participants as well as past peaksaver participants are also encouraged to enrol in peaksaver PLUS – they are eligible to receive an Energy Display, too.

How do I enrol in the peaksaver PLUS program?

You can sign up online or call 1.877.487.8574 to speak to a representative.

Can I really make a difference by participating?

Yes. By participating, you and thousands of others participants help reduce the strain on the electricity grid during peak periods. By doing your part, you are making a significant contribution to conserving electricity and improving our environment.

How does peaksaver PLUS work?

During peak electricity demand periods, Toronto Hydro will send a signal to the enrolled appliance (i.e your air conditioner, water heater and/or pool pump) to cycle down the power to the appliance for a short time, weekdays during the summer between 12 noon and 7 p.m., from May 1st to September 30th. Activations never occur on weekends or holidays.

  • Air conditioners are cycled down for 15 minutes out of every 30 minutes.
  • Water heaters are turned off a maximum of 4 hours.
  • Pool pumps are turned off a maximum of 4 hours.  During this time, you will not be able to vacuum the pool.

 

Do I have to have a central air conditioner to participate in peaksaver PLUS?

We can install a peaksaver PLUS device on any one or all of the following appliances provided they are in good working condition:

  • Central air conditioner
  • Electric water heater
  • Pool pump

 

What if I don't own the premises? Can I still enrol?

Yes. All you need to do is have your landlord provide us with written consent or authorization to install the peaksaver PLUS device(s).

I live in a town home, am I eligible?

If your unit has a separate central air conditioner, electric water heater or pool pump and you have an account with Toronto Hydro you are eligible to participate in peaksaver PLUS.

Won't I/my employees/my customers be uncomfortable if you cycle my central air conditioner down, especially when it's hot?

Typically, most people do not notice that the air conditioner is being cycled down. With peaksaver PLUS, your air conditioner fan will continue to run during the activation period even though your air conditioner is being cycled down. Your water heater will be turned off for the whole peak period when activated, but since it has a reserve of hot water you should have plenty of hot water available during the activation period. Pool pumps will also be turned off during the activation period which means you won't be able to vacuum the pool.

Will it cost me anything to participate in peaksaver PLUS?

There is no cost for participating in peaksaver PLUS.

How much money could peaksaver PLUS potentially save me?

You may not see savings, but keep in mind that peaksaver PLUS may be activated during the On-Peak periods under Time-of-Use rates when electricity prices are higher; therefore, your air conditioner, electric water heater and/or pool pump would be running less during this time.

PLUS, the in-home Energy Display provides real-time feedback on how electricity is consumed in your home. It can tell you at a glance:

  • the amount of electricity you are consuming at any particular time;  
  • the difference in electricity consumption caused by turning various electrical appliances in your home on and off; and
  • the total amount of money you are spending on electricity.*

The in-home Energy Display will display your electricity consumption allowing you to modify your electricity consumption habits – even small changes in usage can save you money.

*This cost reflects the variable commodity price of electricity only. This does not include the various charges including delivery, regulatory and debt retirement.

How do I request that my appliance not be controlled on a particular date?

If you would like to opt out on a particular date, please call 1.877.487.8574 and someone will be able to schedule your request.

If I am unhappy with peaksaver PLUS, can I stop participating?

If for whatever reason you are not satisfied, please call our peaksaver PLUS call centre at 1.877.487.8574 to speak to a representative.

Is peaksaver PLUS only available in Toronto?

peaksaver PLUS  is available to all Ontario residents that meet the programs requirements as part of the saveONenergy conservation programs funded by the Ontario Power Authority. If you are not a Toronto Hydro customer, please contact your local electric utility to enrol.

Will load management eventually become mandatory for all homes?

No, peaksaver PLUS is voluntary and allows customers to play an active role in conserving electricity.

I'm the owner of an multi-residential building, can I participate?

At this time, the program is only available to single-dwelling residential homes with central air conditioner or businesses with rooftop air conditioners.

Are condos and apartment units eligible to participate?

Not at this time. peaksaver PLUS is geared to central air conditioners, electric water heaters and pool pumps in single-dwelling residential homes and businesses.

What happens if I'm using the air conditioner, water heater or pool pump during the time it is scheduled to be cycled down?

You will not need to do anything. You may notice a difference in temperature. Your water heater will be turned off during the activation period, but since it has a reserve of hot water you should not experience any change during this time. Your pool pump will also be turned off during the activation period so you will not be able to vacuum the pool.

Do I have to adjust my thermostat or change any other settings?

No, participating in peaksaver PLUS is easy and requires no effort, time or investment.

Who do I call if I have questions or problems?

Questions can be directed to the peaksaver PLUS call centre at 1.877.487.8574.

I have a room air conditioner; can I participate in peaksaver PLUS?

No. Current technology only works on central air conditioners. But if it's time to recycle an old, inefficient room or window air conditioner, you may want to inquire about our saveONenergyOM Exchange Event program.

Do I have to participate in peaksaver PLUS?

The program is entirely voluntary.

Will Toronto Hydro have the ability to control any other appliance in my house?

No. Only the appliances enrolled in the peaksaver PLUS program can be activated.

Do I have to be home when the device is installed?

You will only need to be home if:

  • There isn't a disconnect switch located outside next to the air conditioner compressor;
  • Your meter or any of the equipment you are enrolling in the program is located inside the home or in a secured area.

 

What is an in-home Energy Display?

The in-home Energy Display is an easy-to-use home electricity monitor that gives you and your family, real time feedback on how you are consuming electricity in your home. It can tell you at a glance how much electricity you are consuming at any particular time.  It can show you exactly where you are consuming energy.  Even small changes in your electricity usage can save money. You may also see the Energy Display referred to as a ‘Customer Information Display’.

Do I have to do anything to my in-home Energy Display when the electricity rates change?

Yes. You will need to re-program your device to reflect the commodity price of electricity. Instructions can be found in the Energy Display manual

Who would I contact if I have a problem with my in-home Energy Display?

If you experience a problem with your in-home energy display, please contact us at 1.877.487.8574.

How do I replace the batteries in my in-home energy display?

The in-home Energy Display is powered by a total of four replaceable ‘AA’ batteries which can be replaced.  Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions that have been provided with your Energy Display.