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Why reduce power consumption during winter peak periods?

It’s a question on everyone’s mind, come the cold weather. Okay, we might be exaggerating somewhat here, but let’s just say that winter peaks are a popular topic in the energy sector—and not just among us. We try to explain the phenomenon as best we can so that everyone can play a part in reducing their power use. Let’s take a closer look.

What’s the lowdown on winter peak periods?

The term “peak period,” in the electrical energy sector, refers to a particular time frame in which electricity demand is at its highest. In the U.S., for example, this could be during a heat wave because of air conditioning. Here in Quebec, our energy demands are higher in winter because of heating. Electricity needs peak for a few hours each day, generally between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It's a bit like traffic on the bridge: it occurs each morning and evening, and it’s worse on weekdays!

In winter, heating is the main power draw—and it’s also how you can make a major difference. Shifting your heating consumption will help flatten energy peaks . . . and all of Quebec will benefit.

“All of Quebec will benefit?” That’s right.

When demand exceeds our production capacity, which is what happens during winter peaks, we need to buy power from neighbouring markets to meet the energy needs of our businesses and households. That power is more expensive and sometimes less green. Not only does flattening the peak help Quebecers save money, it also gives the planet some relief.

Another important point: Using less energy means there’s less need for infrastructures to generate and transport yet more electricity. Major savings ahead!

Flattening peaks is simple with Hilo

Hilo’s aim is to reduce the power demand by 620 megawatts during peak consumption periods by 2029. How? With a simple, effective solution: Hilo challenges! How does it work? While you’re going about your daily activities, Hilo is relieving the grid by shifting your winter power use to off-peak periods. Since the challenges activate automatically, you don’t even have to worry about them. Hilo offers the equipment (thermostats, hub and other connected devices) at affordable prices in exchange for your commitment to taking on the challenges—which you are entered in by default. Thanks to the preheating option, you won’t need to compromise on comfort! Before lowering the temperature of a room, Hilo will preheat it to ensure that you remain comfortable.

That’s not all! By taking on the challenges, you receive cash rewards for every unused kilowatt-hour. That works out to an average of $124 per winter. Basically, Hilo is helping you optimize the way you use the available energy. Win-win all around!

Use our savings calculator to estimate your annual savings and potential rewards through Hilo.