Peaksaver Plus program being discontinued due to low results - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-12-10, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regional Municipality of Durham
Posts: 4,004
Peaksaver Plus program being discontinued due to low results

I just received 2 notices in the mail that Peaksaver Plus is being discontinued some time this month. I get to keep the smart thermostat, but the ability to wirelessly monitor and set my thermostat which is NOT CONNECTED BY WIFI but instead thru the smart meter's privately operated wireless Mesh Network.

It will now continue to operate as a regular programmable thermostat.

Here are my comments on the Peak Saver program:

A lot of people were crap talking the peak saver program because the hydro companies could lighten the load on the Hydro grid during Very High Peak demand periods and they were worried about this. Now let me set the record straight I used Air Conditioner during these high peak demands, and I kept telling people it was not as bad as they thought, most people were not home anyways during these high peak times, and were likely at work, and even if you were at home and wanted to set your thermostat to 19 degrees Celsius to cool your house during the peak demand, they would remotely set the temperature higher by one degree, so 20, and after about an hour of cooling they would throttle it off for 15 minutes, then turn it back on for another hour, then throttle it off for 15 minutes, people were fuming about this and in all honesty, it was NOT SO BAD AT ALL FOR ALL THE CRY BABIES. its only 15 freakin minutes. your house is not going to turn into a sauna during these periods, and if you really want, you can set the fan only on your furnace and blow the air during this time to keep the cool air circulating, gees, go figure, people will complain about anything.

I had no problem with the hydro company controlling my thermostat and when they did I had almost no noticeable issues, and I was often at work during these times, and when I came home my house was perfectly fine. and in the 5 years I had the program they only controlled my thermostat 2 times, yes TWO FREAKING TIMES in the 5 years I had it. and it keeps track of it on the online portal, they controlled it for 15 mins one time ,and 15 mins another time, HARDLY A PROBLEM, but some people would go haywire and make a big stink about not being able to turn on their ac for 15 hole minutes, wow go figure.

Another great thing was the installer from honey well. he was a smart guy, and wired my thermostat professionally. not only that but he caught an issue that my home inspector failed to catch, The previous home owners had wired their own thermostat them self with no education nor experience that they wired it incorrectly. so in the summer when I would turn on the thermostat to COOL, the AC compressor and fan would constantly run all day long even when the thermostat hits the desired temperature setting, resulting in me having very high hydro bills during the summer, I also had an older air conditioner unit which was not so efficient and was very high on hydro consumption to begin with, so yeah after changing the thermostat I immediately noticed some good savings on my hydro bills. Also it as nice having a thermostat that was wired correctly by the honeywell technician and it would shut off at the correct setting instead of constantly running the fan and compressor and putting unnecessary wear on it.

The technician was even nice enough to notice I had originally had 18/4 thermostat wire so he used a honeywell wire to convert the fan and call for cooling wires into one wire called a K wire which this thermostat had supported built in technology that supported breaking out the k wire into the appropriate terminals without any extra wiring.

overall i was pleased with peaksaver but I was upset that when they knew the program was ending they should have pre-enrolled me into the new program that the ontario government just came out recently with where they give you a FREE smart thermostat, one that operates on WIFI this time and not the hydro meter's private wireless mesh network. which is okay because I went out of my way and enrolled in the new program myself not knowing that peaksaver would end and I a m on the waiting list for next year where I will get a honeywell smart thermostat. I have since re-wired my thermostat with 18/5 wire because I had a furnace replaced a few months ago so its all new wiring and it works well.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-12-10, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regional Municipality of Durham
Posts: 4,004
Forgot to mention the real point of this. When this program first started The people involved in this program/project were showing the government how much customers they proposed would join peaksaver and how much hydro they would reduce on the grid during peak demand times with this program. After so many years, the actual results showed that the reduction in hydro during peak demand periods hardly put a dent in the grid, it was not even noticeable by the hydro distributors so because of that, they scrapped it.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-12-10, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43░ N, 81.2░ W
Posts: 6,508
I suspect that the returns were much lower than the cost to have the compliant thermostat installed and to maintain the system. If this was rolled out to all businesses and residences and extended to other major appliances such as electric heat and water heaters it may have made a difference. Before Ontario "deregulated" electricity in the early 2000s, some local utilities had programs to reduce peak energy demands by placing timers on water heaters. That was a cheap, low tech solution that was instituted at a local level but lost due to government intervention. Over ten years later, "Big Brother" tries to do the same thing with an expensive, high tech solution that has less acceptance. In the meantime, many consumers had already instituted their own energy saving plans in order to reduce costs.

It's little wonder that Peaksaver Plus failed to take hold. Never mind that energy prices in Ontario are seen to be artificially high with savings going to energy producers with sweetheart deals. If electricity rates reflected true market rates, so that savings went to the consumer, I could see a lot more adoption of this technology. If consumers could put a cap on the amount paid for A/C, heat or other high demand tasks so that they were shut off during expensive peaks, it would be adopted quickly. If standards were created, that functionality could be built or retrofitted into the appliances themselves.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-12-11, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regional Municipality of Durham
Posts: 4,004
Yes that is what it was. The return on investment was too low it was not worth it to keep the program running, and back then when the program was launched, smart thermostats were not a thing yet. The landscape has changed throughout the years and this program probably did not take account for these changes. Anyways I got a nice thermostat out of it, I don't really care about the ability to control it remotely right now, but if I do need that function, I have signed up for the new energy eco program and am on their waiting list for the new smart thermostat, a real one that uses wifi and is not throttled by the Ontario government, but a recent talkshow on the radio spoke to the people in charge of this program and they confirmed they are tracking some of your info in exchange for this program/termostat, so nothing really is free now a days

Bell Satellite TV, 9400 HD PVR, 65 Inch LED TV, Smart Blue Ray Player, No sound system.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-12-14, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 140
You set your thermostat to 19░C in the summer? I don't even set my thermostat that low in winter, except overnight or when everyone is out. I don't turn on my AC until 24░C in the summer. Looks like you were already compensating for the possibility of throttling and remote temperature setting resets. Perhaps that's why results were not as expected?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 2017-12-14, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Regional Municipality of Durham
Posts: 4,004
Where DID I say I specifically set MY thermostat to 19 Degrees in the summer?
I believe I said "if you were at home and wanted to set your thermostat to 19 degrees Celsius" that is a BIG DIFFERENCE compared to "I SET MY THERMOSTAT TO 19 DEGREES" I was merely giving an example, and just because you are curious to know I set my thermostat to 24 in the summer sometimes when necessary, other times I do not even turn it on I use the windows for fresh air.

There was only ONE time that I recall this year where they throttled our air conditioner, and it was on a day it was very very hot outside, We just gave birth to a baby this past summer and besides my wife rarely stays home during the day she goes out with the baby to her moms or goes to appointments and such, and by chance she had nothing to do on that day we had a heat alert, but even with the throttling she did not notice it, we also have a fan in the family room which helps circulate the air, especially with a newborn the doctor advised against the baby getting "too hot" but I would say we survived.

We are not air conditioner hogs either, we shut it off in September, but my neighbour had his running all thru September and into October, I know cus his unit is quite loud we hear it when we open one of our windows.

Bell Satellite TV, 9400 HD PVR, 65 Inch LED TV, Smart Blue Ray Player, No sound system.
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