Ontario electricity consumers participating in the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) will need to take action again soon to keep their percentages and resulting costs low for Global Adjustment.

As of May 1st, Class A Global Adjustment consumers will need to reduce their power consumption during periods of peak provincial demand to maximize their savings.

This move by the Ontario government re-establishes required action that they suspended a year ago to ease some of the economic burden created by the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the ICI program, qualifying companies can realize substantial savings if they are able to reduce their electricity use when provincial demand is high. With the suspension of ICI from May 2020 to April 2021, this requirement was waived for a year.

The purpose of the ICI program has been to reduce peak generating loads in Ontario. With the program’s temporary hiatus this past year, the peak generation requirement reached close to 25,000 MW for the first time since 2008 (see below chart). This outcome certainly demonstrates the value and efficacy of the program.

Source: 1ESO

As of this May, a new peak setting period will begin. Ontario electricity customers wishing to participate in the ICI program will once more need to start monitoring the Ontario grid as well as their own organization’s potential coincident peaks.

As everyone is a bit out of practice, 360 Energy offers this refresher for the important things to remember in preparing to take action again:

  • Communications about “opting in” will be coming from local utilities towards the end of May. Complete and return the required forms to the utility by June 15.
  • Ensure site plans are in place for power curtailment. Know ahead of time which electrical loads will need to be taken offline; prepare any generation that may need to come online. A plan is helpful for taking action in a timely manner and ensuring all actions are completed.
  • Peak setting can begin as soon as May 1. A warm spring may bring some early alert calls that need to be observed.
  • There may be lots of alert calls this year. As more customers participate in the ICI program, the overall demand curve in the province flattens. That is the point of the program. But, it does make it more challenging to adhere to all potential calls for curtailment.
  • Remember that action may also be required during the coldest months, especially if the coming summer is not particularly hot. It is possible some peaks will hit in the winter of 2022.

ICI can help participating companies avoid energy costs. Our best advice from 360 Energy is, “Be prepared and stay alert” as this program comes back into force. For any questions or assistance that may be needed with the ICI program, 360 Energy is available to help.