Applications: Case Study

Peel Region Utilizes ION Meters to Prepare for Electricity Market Prices

The Region of Peel, Ontario's second largest municipality located just west of Toronto, is building on its energy management success by using ION interval meters to control future energy costs. Having already saved its residents more than $8 million through procurement savings, bill validation, cost avoidance and conservation measures, Peel Region is gearing up for the next big change in the electricity sector: the introduction of spot market prices for municipalities.

Since Ontario’s regulated price plan (RPP), which caps the rate municipalities pay for electricity will soon expire local governments are bracing for the move to wholesale market prices for electricity. In Peel's case, the groundwork is well underway. Peel Region has already installed 65 “ION 8500” interval meters in municipal facilities across the cities of Brampton, Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. The meters are being used to collect information on when, where and how much electricity is being consumed so that the municipality can avoid electricity use at times when it is most expensive.

Peel Region knows that interval meters are key to capitalizing on fluctuating market prices. The meters will measure and record Peel's electricity use in real-time, tracking usage patterns that can be compared to Ontario's hourly electricity price. Once the data is collected, the municipality can also examine its load profiles to identify where improvements can be made to conserve energy and capture savings associated with off-peak, lowest-cost market prices.

That’s only the start. Peel's energy metering and monitoring program also includes a host of additional features including:

  • Load profiling, benchmarking  and performance monitoring
  • Bill validation and verification
  • Demand response
  • Power quality measurements
  • Cost analysis and financial reporting

In Peel's case, features such as power quality measurements are already generating savings through less equipment downtime and reduced maintenance costs. By performing power quality analysis, Peel has identified sensitive power irregularities that had previously contributed to equipment failure and thousands of dollars in repair costs. Effective solutions like these are helping Peel boost uptime and spot potential equipment problems before they even occur.

Looking ahead, Peel Region is mapping out the growth of its metering program. Plans are in full swing to identify new metering sites, carry out benchmarking and load forecasting, plus implement a comprehensive demand response program with automatic load shedding, peak shaving and on-site generation.

To make managing energy costs even more precise, Peel is also preparing its ION meters and energy management software for sub-billing and cost-allocation practices. This will help accurately allocate the municipality's energy costs to specific departments based on actual usage. Equipped with exact energy costs and consumption data, each department will be better suited to understand how, when and where it uses energy, enhancing Peel Region's overall ability to budget for utility expenditures and uncover new ways to conserve.

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