How does a small business owner utilize the provincial government incentives to conserve, time shift and perhaps even generate energy in the Province of Ontario? Well apparently it’s all here for you! Wind, solar, and even small hydro opportunities are all out there for consumers to consider to offset their electrical demand. Or so that’s how the Ontario Government (Ontario Power Authority) has presented the options to small and medium sized industrial users. I think we all understand however that it’s not exactly that straight forward and one really needs to start with the fundamentals and assess their demand in the context of their individual business operations. But what questions do we need to ask before we consider implementing changes? For one you need to know your demand profile - is my electrical demand continuous and not interruptible? Is there an energy conservation plan that can be applied to offset my peak high cost periods? Are there energy conversion options (multi fuel) to reduce the type of energy consumption at different periods? Can I load shift to change the pattern of use and save money? Understanding your business energy demand picture is the very first step towards improving costs and taking advantage of the incentives offered by your local utility.
Here in Ontario the Ontario Power Authority does do a few things right. The Authority website is a great resource to users to investigate savings opportunities. Start with its home page and scroll through all the different programs available for consumers. Next check out the Hydro One website and review their programs. Some of the programs include:
- FiT and Micro FiT
- ICI OPA Industrial Accelerator Program for grid connected Users
- Ontario Clean Energy Benefit offered by Hydro One-One
- OPA/Hydro One Audit program incentives
Many owners think electrical demand costs cannot be optimized and that these programs really don’t fit their needs. Not only is that incorrect but many businesses, maybe some of your competitors, have taken advantage of the incentives to improve their energy demand and costs. Now that’s something we need to pay attention to!