What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

peaksaver® Program in Action

I posted in may that we enrolled in Hydro One's voluntary electricity Demand Response peaksaver® program.  This program is designed to ease critical strain on the electricity system in Ontario on hot summer weekdays.  Once enrolled in the peaksaver® program, a new programmable thermostat with a special chip will be installed at your residence.  Hydro One can remotely turned up the central air by two degrees Celsius.  The central air unit is turned off remotely for 15 minutes, once per 1 hour period up to a maximum of 4 hours.  At most this may raise the room temperature a couple of degrees but because the fan continues to run in most cases there won't be a noticeable difference in room temperature.  The peaksaver® program can only be activated on weekdays from May 1 to September 30 typically between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for a maximum of four hours. The program cannot be activated more than ten times in a year and yet 2008 had 5 activations and 2009 only had 1 activation.

The lower level of our house is mainly below grade.  Combined with our waterfront location that serves to cool the air, we only use the air conditioner on very hot, humid days.  We are currently experiencing a heat wave in Ontario that is predicted to last through next Friday.  Yesterday my husband asked why it was getting warm in the house.  I hadn't noticed any temperature change so figured it must be from the way the sun was hitting the lower windows.  A few minutes later he made the comment that the furnace fan hadn't turned off so it must be quite warm out for the air conditioner to cycle that long.  Upon checking the thermostat he saw that it was in the recovery phase of the peaksaver® cycle.  What we didn't realize is when the peaksaver® cycle is triggered out thermostat fan setting of auto is remotely changed to on to keep the already cooled air circulating through the house.  I found it quite interesting that we had not even noticed the peaksaver® cycle activation until it had almost fully run the cycle.  The nice thing is yesterday we saved a bit of money while doing our part to help conserve electricity without it really having an effect on our comfort level.  I am quite impressed! I'm sure the peaksaver® cycle will be triggered again today with this heat so I will be watching for it. 

Garden Gnome