Energate Collaborates with PowerStream in a Customer Opt-In Dynamic Pricing Project Supported by the Ministry of Energy
PowerStream customers can now participate in the Advantage Power Pricing program
Ottawa – October 22, 2014 – Energate, Inc., a leader in interactive energy management solutions and products for utilities and their residential customers, announced today that the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund will provide $1.35 million for a Customer Opt-in Dynamic Pricing project. The project is a collaboration with Local Distribution Company (LDC) PowerStream, was launched February 13, 2014 and will run until March 2016.
This is the second time Energate has been selected to receive funding through the Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund which promotes smart grid usage in the province. Energate is currently in the final stages of the Consumer Engagement to the Smart Grid (CESG) project in collaboration with six Ontario LDCs to see how utilities and equipment providers can offer services and equipment that make customers engage more with the Smart Grid.
The Customer Opt-in Dynamic Pricing Project – Advantage Power Pricing Plan – is a one-year voluntary pilot program for 1,000 participants in PowerStream’s service territory. Participating consumers will be equipped with Energate Foundation™ Smart Thermostats and Home Energy Gateways that will provide up-to-date pricing information and respond to price changes intelligently and automatically according to their preferences. Energate’s Consumer Connected Demand Response (CCDR) platform with its Load Management System (LMS), CORE Middleware in addition to the smart thermostats will also be deployed.
The objective of this $3.5 million project is to introduce an optional dynamic pricing program in which the daily on-peak price will vary in response to expected demand. Participants will be given the opportunity to shift their demand away from the on-peak, and more expensive periods, to lower-demand periods. This shifting will reduce strain on the electricity grid while helping customers save money. Also, critical peak prices will be called at any time to assist with system emergencies. By providing consumers with the ability to manage their energy consumption from anywhere at anytime, this project will create a strong market pull as participants will enjoy an overall savings on their electricity usage and will receive a refund at the end of the year. The project guarantees to be risk free for participants.
Energate’s Demand Response and Home Energy Management Platforms form a made-in-Ontario solution that can be deployed to achieve the objectives of the Customer Opt-in Dynamic Pricing Project. The Energate Foundation™ Smart Thermostat and Home Energy Gateway has a conservation setting feature that allows participants to determine how their HVAC system reacts to price changes and the Foundation together with the mobile app provide customers with ongoing awareness of energy prices. These solutions provide Ontario LDCs the ability to use price more effectively to manage demand. The experience gained during this project will benefit other LDCs future efforts to implement these creative and cost-effective dynamic pricing programs.
Energate is a main supplier to Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) in a similar Dynamic Pricing Program in Oklahoma. Based on this successful program, OG&E was named US Utility of the year in 2011.
“Energate is working closely with PowerStream and the Ministry to create a sustainable pricing program that can be rolled out to all Ontario LDCs.” said Steve Dodds, Chief Executive Officer of Energate. “It takes impactful programs like this project to effectively move the market forward in a pragmatic way toward a more cost-effective power system. The impacts of this program will provide an opportunity for Energate to leverage the lessons learned in Ontario to utilities across North America.”
“As an industry leader in piloting and implementing Smart Grid technologies, PowerStream is excited to offer this opportunity to its customers,” says Maurizio Bevilacqua, PowerStream Board Chair and City of Vaughan Mayor. “Advantage Power Pricing provides our customers with more choices in how they manage their electricity costs”
“The IESO is excited to collaborate on the project. Since the implementation of time-of-use pricing in Ontario in 2005, we have been looking for new ways to engage LDCs and their customers to manage demand on the grid,” added Bruce Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
Many other benefits result from the Customer Opt-in Dynamic Pricing project. From a capacity perspective the project will see the expansion of high value manufacturing jobs associated with the creation of the Smart Grid in Ontario creating a workforce with relevant skills in a growth market. The project also serves as a template for the remaining 80+ LDCs to follow which, in turn, drives additional jobs. This project will provide much needed experience and expertise in terms of program design and implementation of pricing programs which is readily transferable to the North American market.
Energate Inc. provides interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management and the connected home. Energate’s products include devices, middleware, and applications. With its Internet of Things interoperable architecture, Energate’s vertically integrated Consumer Connected Demand Response™ platform provides management of two-way communication, devices, and demand response events. Energate’s solutions have been employed by over 40 North American utilities.
PowerStream is a community-owned energy company that provides power and related services to more than 365,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.