At this time we are no longer accepting enrolments for the peaksaver PLUS™ program
If you already have a peaksaver® device, the program will continue, and for any questions you have, you can still call the customer service centre at 1-866-323-0206.
Helpful links for existing peaksaver® customers
- Access your thermostat here — Customer log-in
- Utility Pro thermostat — quick reference guide
- Express Stat thermostat — quick reference guide
- Utility Pro thermostat — switch from cooling to heating
- Express Stat thermostat — switch from cooling to heating
- Utility Pro thermostat – switch from heating to cooling
- Express Stat thermostat – switch from heating to cooling
Frequently Asked Questions
What is peaksaver?
Peaksaver is a program that helps reduce the strain on our electricity supply. With peaksaver, homeowners and small businesses have a programmable thermostat installed on their central air conditioner. During peak times of energy use — on hot summer days, for example, when air conditioners are on at maximum — Alectra Utilities can temporarily adjust the thermostat by automatically cycling air conditioners. This helps avoid too much peak power consumption and lowers the risk of an outage.
Does peaksaver really save energy?
Yes! It can lower each home’s electrical use by 1 to 2 kilowatt-hours, which is equal to turning off up to twenty 100-watt light bulbs. Just by replacing your conventional thermostat with the peaksaver programmable thermostat, you can save up to 10% per year on your heating and cooling energy use.
How does peaksaver help the environment?
On hot summer days, when air conditioners are running at their maximum, the demand for electricity is highest. This can increase the cost and put a strain on our energy supply and distribution. With peaksaver, your central air conditioning is automatically adjusted during peak times of use to help conserve valuable energy resources. Adjustments are generally up to four hours, usually in the afternoon or evening, and NEVER on weekends or holidays. In the event of an adjustment, you may notice a slight, temporary increase in temperature — up to 2°C — but in many cases, you won’t notice anything at all. By participating in the peaksaver program, you help prevent power interruptions in your community.
Tell me about the peaksaver PLUS® program.
During hot summer weekdays, when central air conditioners are running at their maximum, the demand for electricity is at its highest. You can join the other households in Ontario to help manage electricity use when demand is high by enrolling one or more of the following pieces of equipment in the peaksaver PLUS program:
- a central air conditioner – excluding heat pump;
- an electric water heater; or
- a pool pump for an in-ground pool
By enrolling in peaksaver PLUS, you’re showing your commitment to conservation and you’re helping the reliability of our electricity system. Enrolling is easy and it’s free of charge! An authorized technician will come at a convenient time and install a load management device on your central air conditioner, electric water heater or in-ground pool pump. In the case of your central air conditioner, this may increase your home’s temperature by only 1°or 2°C for short periods of time. In the case of your electric water heater, the water may get slightly cooler and for pool pumps there should be no noticeable change. Your load management device would only be activated during weekdays between 12 noon and 7 p.m. and never on weekends or holidays. Each activation will last for a maximum of four hours.
What if I don’t own the house, can I still enroll?
You certainly can. If you don’t own the property, you can obtain written permission from the owner/landlord to have peaksaver PLUS installed.
Am I eligible if I live in a townhome?
Yes, if your home has a separate central air conditioning unit, electric water heater and/or pool pump and you have an account with a participating electric utility.
How does the program work?
Once you are enrolled in peaksaver PLUS, an authorized technician will come to your home to install a load management device on your central air conditioner, electric water heater or in-ground pool pump. Once the device is installed, it can be remotely activated to slightly reduce the electricity consumed by your central air conditioner, electric water heater or pool pump.
Activations would only occur:
- on those occasional hot and humid summer days when the electricity system may become stretched to its limit and electricity consumption is at its highest.
- on weekdays between 12 noon and 7 p.m. from May 1st to September 30th, and never on weekends or holidays.
- for a maximum of 4 hours during any one activation.
Your central air conditioner fan will continue to operate so that there will only be a 1° or 2° change in temperature of your home. The electric water heater or pool pump will be shut off. Most customers don’t notice a difference, because the water heater already has heated water in it, which doesn’t cool significantly in the four-hour activations under normal circumstances. Pool pump customers will not experience a noticeable change either.
You can opt out of potential activations in advance of a specified date for up to 48 hours each time by contacting your participating electric utility and providing 48 hours advance notice. You can opt out up to two times per year
When can peaksaver PLUS be activated?
On weekdays during the summer between 12 noon and 7 p.m., from May 1st to September 30th. Activations never occur on weekends or holidays. Activations will only last for a maximum of 4 hours.
What is an “Energy Display” and what can it do for me?
An “Energy Display” is a device that will provide you with close to real-time energy consumption and price data to help you monitor the impacts of your actions. You may choose to use this information to reduce and/or shift your consumption pattern from periods of higher price to lower-price periods based on time-of-use rates to help achieve savings on your electricity costs.
Will it cost me anything to participate?
You can enrol free of charge and there are no ongoing maintenance costs. The “Energy Display” may also be included at time of installation. It provides you with close to real-time energy consumption and pricing data.
As one household, is it really possible to make a difference by participating?
Absolutely! When just two households participate in peaksaver PLUS with their central air conditioners, they can reduce enough electricity demand to meet the electricity needs of an average household in Ontario during a time of peak demand.
Will I notice a change in the comfort of my home if my CAC is cycled?
Participating in peaksaver PLUS means that you will maintain control and your comfort will not be affected. When peaksaver PLUS is activated, your central air conditioner fan will continue to operate. However, in half-hour timeframes, your central air conditioner will be adjusted on and off. For the first 15 minutes, it will continue to produce cool air. And for the next 15-minute period, the fan continues to run to circulate the cool air in your home. These half-hour increments will last no longer than four hours at a time on any one day.
For example: If your central air conditioner compressor normally runs for 40 minutes (two 20-minute periods), your compressor would only run for 20 minutes (two 10-minute periods) during each hour of the 4-hour event. Most participants surveyed noted that they could not notice a difference in the temperature or comfort of their home when the activations occurred. The devices and installation are provided free of charge and your local electric utility will be able to assist should you have any questions.
Will I notice a change in the temperature of my water if my electric water heater is activated?
It is likely that when peaksaver PLUS is activated, your electric water heater will keep the already heated water warm for consumption during the activation period. Most participants in program pilots noted that they could not feel a noticeable difference in the water temperature.
Will I notice a change in the cleanliness of my in-ground pool if my pool pump is activated?
It is unlikely during the few activations that may occur during the course of the summer that you will find a noticeable difference in the cleanliness of your in-ground pool.
Could there be a power surge when it comes back on?
No, the technology is designed to avoid this type of occurrence. Activations are timed, which also works to avoid a power surge.
Businesses must use much more electricity than residential customers. Why are regular homeowners asked to take these measures?
Everyone eligible in Ontario can join in to help manage our electricity use when demand is high. There is also a peaksaver PLUS program that is aimed at small commercial businesses that use less than 50kW. If you are a small business owner and would like to find out more, please contact your local electric utility. peaksaver PLUS is designed for homes and small business, and there are other conservation programs tailored for large commercial and industrial properties as well. For example, there is a Demand Response program for businesses to reduce their electricity consumption during peak periods and shift their usage to other times of the day when demand is lower.
Do I have to participate?
The program is entirely voluntary and easy to participate in. By enrolling in peaksaver PLUS, participants are joining the other Ontarians helping to manage our electricity use when demand is high. PLUS, program participants will receive an Energy Display FREE of charge to help them see and manage their electricity use at home.
Who do I call when I have questions or problems?
Call the Peaksaver Plus Hotline at 1-866-323-0206
Do I have to be home when this is installed?
Yes, you will need to be home. Peaksaver Plus will set up an appointment at a time that is convenient to you and install a device on the appliances you have specified (central air conditioner, electric water heater and/or pool pump) to manage the program. They will also provide you with an “Energy Display” device, which will allow you to view your energy consumption on a near real-time basis. They will show you how to use it and how effective it can be in seeing and managing your electricity use help achieve savings all year.
I’m not comfortable with strangers in my house. How will I know if the people who arrive are legitimate?
We understand and fully appreciate your concern for security. When the authorized technicians come to your door, feel free to ask them for identification to show that they are working on behalf of Peaksaver Plus. They should also arrive during a predetermined time window. Should you have questions regarding the technician’s qualifications, please contact Alectra Utilities.
Why do the OPA and Alectra Utilities have this program anyway?
We are always looking for ways to help our customers and the province better manage our electricity use. Initiatives like peaksaver PLUS help everyone with managing electricity use when demand is high. PLUS, the “Energy Display” device also helps to increase awareness about electricity use at home through the provision of near real-time usage data. Participants in peaksaver PLUS will be better equipped to make decisions to help them manage their electricity use at home.
Where will the peaksaver PLUS load management device be installed? Who chooses this?
You must have either a central air conditioner, electric water heater and/or a pool pump for an in-ground pool to participate. It is your choice if you want the device on any or all of these appliances.
How do I request that my equipment not be activated for a particular date?
If you would like to opt out for up to 48 hours at a time on a particular date, please call peaksaver plus at 1-866-323-0206 utility and you will be able to opt out for a particular day. You can opt out twice per year and your utility will require 48 hour advance notice. Note: the program will only be activated Monday to Friday between 12 noon and 7 p.m. and between May 1st and September 30th.
If I have only a room air conditioner, can I still participate in the program?
The program is currently limited to customers with central air conditioners, electric water heaters and/or pool pumps for in-ground pools. You may be interested to know that window air conditioners are eligible for recycling through our EXCHANGE EVENT program, held at local retailers throughout the year.
If peaksaver PLUS is not suitable for my lifestyle, can I stop being part of the program?
Yes, you can always contact peaksaver plus at 1-866-323-0206 and speak to a representative.
What happens if I’m using my central air conditioner, electric water heater or pool pump during the activation?
Your central air conditioner fan will continue to operate and circulate the air in your home. The electric water heater will be shut off but you can still use the hot water reserve that is in the tank. Most customers don’t notice a difference, because the water heater already has heated water in it, which doesn’t cool significantly in the four-hour event duration under normal circumstances. The pool pump will be shut off for the period of the activation. Pool pump customers will not experience a noticeable change either.