Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Energate, PowerStream receive government funding for dynamic pricing project

Iain Morris
October 28, 2014

Energy management specialist Energate and Canadian utility PowerStream have received $1.35 million in government funding for a dynamic pricing project aimed at residential customers in Ontario.

The project, which was launched in February and will run until March 2016, will cost $3.5 million in total and aims to develop an optional dynamic pricing program in which daily on-peak prices will vary in response to expected demand.

The government funding is to come from the Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund, which has been set up to promote smart grid usage in the country.

Energate (Ottawa, Canada) says this marks the second time it has been selected to receive financial support through the smart grid fund and that it is currently in the final stages of another government-backed project aimed at determining how utilities and equipment providers can best offer services to make customers engage more with smart grid technology.

The pricing project is described as a one-year voluntary pilot program for 1,000 participants in PowerStream’s service territory.

Participating customers will be equipped with Energate’s smart thermostats and home energy gateways, which will provide up-to-date pricing information and respond to price changes intelligently and automatically according to preferences.

During the study, customers will have the opportunity to shift demand away from on-peak and more expensive periods to lower-demand periods.

The aim is to reduce strain on the electricity grid while helping customers to save money.

The smart thermostat and home energy gateways come with conservation setting features that allow participants to determine how their heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems will react to price changes.

“Energate is working closely with PowerStream [Vaughan, Canada] and the Ministry to create a sustainable pricing program that can be rolled out to all Ontario local distribution companies,” said Steve Dodds, Energate’s chief executive. “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,” he added.
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