Canadian Utility Uses Real-Time Communications to Meet Conservation, Peak Reduction Initiatives

Aug. 25, 2011
Chatham]Kent Hydro has successfully achieved 100% implementation of time]of]use rates for residential and small commercial customers.

Chatham-Kent Hydro has successfully achieved 100% implementation of time-of-use rates for residential and small commercial customers. Time-of-use programs have proven ability to shape energy loads.

While many utilities were required to meet this aggressive target, CKH was one of the few to succeed and did so in part by using Tantalus' TUNet (Tantalus Utility Network) communications system. Prior to this significant achievement, CKH was also recognized as a vanguard leader in advanced metering infrastructure, winning the 2007 Chartwell Best Practice Award for Metering. Due to the evolvable nature of Tantalus' network, CKH was able to grow its smart grid beyond AMI without additional major infrastructure investment.

As part of a larger government mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and delay capital expenditures for additional generation facilities, CKH has installed more than 2400 TUNet load management switches and plans to double that number this year. The switches control air conditioners, pool pumps and other home, commercial and industrial energy loads. CKH has also deployed several hundred TUNet-controlled Smart Thermostats, enabling the utility to manage home HVAC use for customers who opt into the program.

"The Tantalus TUNet system provided Chatham Kent Hydro with a communications platform that has adapted to the dynamic requirements set forth by government regulation," said Matthew Meloche, CKH Systems Engineering Lead. "At the same time, TUNet enables us to increase the quality of service we provide to our customers."

The program now uses the same TUNet technology to make consumers more aware of their energy usage through online energy data visibility, which can change consumer behavior and thus reduce energy demand. In addition to these energy savings, CKH's Smart Grid deployment has been remarkably cost-efficient: a Deloitte financial analysis found that the utility spent only about a quarter as much on its Smart Grid deployment than did comparable utilities.

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