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TITLE: Why Do Businesses Undertake Electricity Conservation and Demand Management Activities?: An Investigation of Medium- and Large-Scale Electricity Customers in Milton, Ontario
By Stephen Mooney and Ian H. Rowlands

Contact:
Stephen Mooney
MES Candidate
Department of Environment and Resource Studies
Faculty of Environmental Studies
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON
N2L 3G1 CANADA
Tel: +1-416-786-6366
Fax: +1-519-746-0292
Email: smooney@fes.uwaterloo.ca

Ontario’s electricity system has received much attention in recent years due to a number
of issues ranging from the blackout of 2003, the associated supply and demand
constraints and the intention to eliminate coal powered generators from the supply mix.
Coal power is one of the major sources of Ontario’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and
thus a significant contributor to global climate change. For this reason, as well as the
impacts on local air quality and health, reducing emissions from coal power is a key
action called for by many. Because all electricity supply options have physical limits,
electricity conservation and demand management (CDM) is seen as a solution to reducing
electric grid constraints, to reducing the use of coal power and to moving towards a
sustainable society. However, in order for CDM programs to be successful they must
appeal to a wide range of customers, including medium- and large-scale consumers. This
paper presents a case study of Milton Hydro general service customers (loads greater than
50 kW) in an effort to understand the motivations, enablers and barriers with respect to
CDM activities. The paper reveals that financial management is of great importance, that
desired payback periods are on the order of one to five years and that meeting customer
expectations takes precedence in this customer group, irrespective of sector. It is also
shown that customers are attracted to the ‘community image’ that is associated with
involvement in Milton Hydro’s Energy Drill Program as well as the direct support
provided by the utility in evaluating practices for reducing electricity usage. Most
participants acknowledge the dual benefits of a CDM activity – that is, that it can serve to
reduce their operating costs as well as to promote their image as a ‘good corporate
citizen.’
 
Full Paper (.ppt format, 310.0 kb)

All Submissions
8:00 AM-8:00 PM, Friday, June 15, 2007, Oral

The Ontario, Canada 2007 Meeting