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IESO pilots new approach to energy efficiency – promoting consumer-driven solutions that benefits the power grid

April 9, 2021

Municipalities, hospitals, warehouses, industrial facilities and others are participating in a unique pilot that will secure energy efficiency projects to reduce peak electricity demand.  The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) today announced the successful participants in its first-ever energy efficiency auction, testing ways to increase energy efficiency’s contribution to grid reliability and support consumers in designing solutions that best fit their needs. 

“Organizations are getting increasingly sophisticated in how they manage their energy use – something Ontario’s power grid can leverage,” says Nik Schruder, Director of Energy Efficiency at the IESO. “This pilot takes energy efficiency another step further, with participating organizations reducing their impact on the grid in a way that we as the system operator, can count on as we forecast peak demand.” 

By adopting efficient equipment or shifting existing processes to address seasonal peak hours, this pilot will enable more organizations to make a quantifiable contribution to reducing peak demands on the electricity system. The auction attracted interest from a wide range of organizations proposing a gamut of technologies from  thermal storage to lighting retrofits to machinery upgrades.  

“Participants are able to develop their own energy efficiency projects that are best suited to meet their needs,” said Schruder. “Our aim is for this pilot to promote greater innovation in the energy efficiency sector and offer customers more control in how they use energy efficiency to improve their businesses and reduce costs, while supporting the reliability of the electricity grid.”

The IESO used a competitive approach for the pilot, holding an auction for proponents to submit proposals. Successful participants include Mohawk College, Unity Health Toronto, the City of London as well as a variety of aggregators, organizations who participate on behalf of multiple smaller consumers.

Funded through the IESO’s Grid Innovation Fund, the auction secured 7.4 MW of energy reductions for the daily peak hours of winter 2022/2023 and 6.6 MW for summer 2023 – roughly enough to power more than 3,000 homes. This enabled competition between customer-driven solutions, resulting in offer prices for the successful projects that are lower than typical energy efficiency business programs.  

This auction pilot complements the IESO’s suite of Save on Energy programs which focus on cost-effectively meeting system needs, driving cost competitiveness and promoting consumer-driven solutions.  Over the last decade, Ontario has achieved 16 TWh of energy savings from the Save on Energy energy efficiency programs, enough to power over 1.8 million homes for a year. 

The full list of successful participants is as follows:

Energy Efficiency (EE) Capacity Provider

Winter EE Capacity Cleared (kW)

Summer EE Capacity  Cleared (kW)

Aenon Technologies Inc



Efficiency Capital (EC) Inc.



Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation



Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology



Ontario Clean Water Agency



Rodan Energy Solutions Inc.



The Corporation of the City of London



Unity Health Toronto



Voltus Energy Canada Ltd.



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About the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO):

The IESO manages the province's power system so that Ontarians receive power when and where they need it. It plans and prepares for future electricity needs and works with its partners to guide energy efficiency efforts.

Save on Energy 

Save on Energy is here to help you use energy wisely at home and at work. It’s the mark of energy-efficiency programs offered by the Independent Electricity System Operator. You can take advantage of its incentives and resources to make your energy-efficiency projects more affordable, allowing you to reap the rewards faster. Save on Energy also raises awareness about the many ways we can reduce energy waste in our day-to-day lives – putting energy efficiency within your reach.

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