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With over 100K members, Peak Perks can deliver demand reduction up to 90 MW

February 12, 2024  By  Anthony Capkun

February 12, 2024 – The Independent Electricity System Operator reports that more than 100,000 Ontarians have enrolled in the Save on Energy Peak Perks program—a residential demand-response initiative that aims to help ensure grid reliability by reducing peak demand on hot summer days.

(100,000 households represents about 2% of private occupied dwellings in Ontario, according to Statistics Canada, 2021 Census of Population.)

Via their smart thermostats, participants in Peak Perks engage in brief, time-limited thermostat adjustments of up to two degrees Celsius during periods of peak electricity demand—between June 1 and September 30—on weekday afternoons or in early evenings.

During Summer 2023, Peak Perks was activated on six occasions, with the final event in early September achieving a maximum 1-hour peak demand reduction of 54 MW. With more than 100,000 Ontario residents now enrolled, current participants in the program can deliver a demand reduction of up to 90 MW, notes IESO.


Perks participants receive a $75 virtual prepaid MasterCard when they enroll in the program. They also receive a $20 virtual prepaid MasterCard each additional year they stay enrolled in the program.

“The IESO is well on its way to building Canada’s largest residential virtual power plant, which will play a key role in keeping the grid reliable and accelerating decarbonization,” said Erika Diamond of EnergyHub—IESO’s service provider for Peak Perks, based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Residential electricity customers in Ontario with central air or a heat pump controlled by a smart thermostat are still eligible to take part in Peak Perks.

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