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City of Varennes rises to the Hilo challenge

“For us, it’s clear that municipalities play an essential role in the clean energy transition”

March 24, 2023  By  Anthony Capkun

March 24, 2023 – Along with partners Hilo (subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec) and Dimonoff’s lighting management systems, the City of Varennes is undertaking a pilot project to reduce streetlighting during peak winter periods.

“Our partnership with the City of Varennes is an example of how we can work with municipalities and government companies like Hilo to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint,” said Dimonoff’s Jostran Lamontagne.

The goal is to evaluate the “real impact” of this initiative on the collective effort to reduce energy consumption during periods of high demand on the power grid.

“For us, it’s clear that municipalities play an essential role in the clean energy transition,” said Martin Damphousse, Mayor. “It’s not just the responsibility of residents or companies to do their fair share.”


Between sunset and sunrise, Varenne’s streetlighting was operating at full capacity. To curtail consumption during peak hours, the city volunteered for a Hilo “challenge”. (During winter, Hilo sends participants energy reduction challenges. Those who pass earn a cash reward. Varennes is the first city to participate in these challenges.)

Following a successful trial period in which different levels of brightness reduction were tested, the city decided to reduce the brightness of nearly 900 streetlights by 50%. During Hilo challenges, this brightness is further reduced to 25% in the morning (from 6 am to sunrise) and in the evening (from sunset to 9 pm).

“Every kilowatt-hour saved or shifted to another time-of-day counts! Reducing non-essential consumption is the simplest and most effective way of ensuring that the network can support increased demand and contribute to Quebec’s clean energy transition,” said Hilo’s Sabrina Bouchard.

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