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What is the peaksaver PLUS program?

During hot summer weekdays, when central air conditioners are running at their maximum, the demand for electricity is at its highest. By participating in peaksaver PLUS you will help manage electricity use when demand is high.

How does the peaksaver PLUS program work?

A few times a summer, during times of peak electricity demand, a signal may be sent to your enrolled appliance to reduce how much electricity it uses.

Activations would only occur:

  • on those occasional hot and humid summer days when the electricity system may become stretched to its limit and electricity consumption is at its highest.
  • on weekdays from May 1st to September 30th, and never on mornings, weekends or holidays.
  • for a maximum of 10 activations during the summer and only for a total of 4 hours during any one activation.

You can opt out of potential activations in advance of a specified date for up to 48 hours each time by calling 1-866-813-2226 and providing 48 hours advance notice. You can opt out up to two times per year.

Will I notice a change in the comfort of my home if my CAC is cycled?

Most participants in program pilots noted that they could not feel a noticeable difference in temperature. When peaksaver PLUS is activated, your central air conditioner fan will continue to operate. However, in half-hour timeframes, your central air conditioner compressor will be adjusted on and off. For the first 12 minutes, your air conditioner will continue to produce cool air. And for the next 18-minute period, the compressor will turn off, but the fan will continue to circulate the air in your home.

These half-hour increments will last no longer than four hours at a time on any given peaksaver PLUS event day. 

What happens if I'm using my central air conditioner during the activation?

Your central air conditioner fan will continue to operate and circulate the air in your home.

Do I have to adjust my thermostat or change any other settings?

No, participating in the program is easy and requires no effort to change or adjust any other settings on your central air conditioning system.

Will I notice a change in the temperature of my water if my electric water heater is activated?

It is likely that when peaksaver PLUS is activated, your electric water heater will keep the already heated water warm for consumption during the activation period. Most participants in program pilots noted that they could not feel a noticeable difference in the water temperature.

How do I request that my equipment not be activated for a particular date?

If you would like to opt out for up to 48 hours at a time on a particular date, please call 1-866-813-2226 and you will be able to opt out for a particular day. You can opt out twice per year and your utility will require 48 hour advance notice.

Will you have access to other systems within my house?

Absolutely not – we will not have access to any other system in your house. Hydro Ottawa will only have access to the appliances you choose, such as your central air conditioner or electric water heater.

Will it cost me anything to participate?

It will not cost you anything to participate and there is no maintenance cost. This is a voluntary program.

Can I really make a difference by participating?

Yes. By participating, you and thousands of others will allow us to reduce the demand on the electrical system during peak periods. With very little effort, you can make a significant contribution to conserving electricity and help to improve our environment.

We expect that the peaksaver PLUS program will reduce the demand on the electricity system in much the same way as the previous peaksaver® program which delivered 110 megawatts of demand savings. This is the equivalent of the power demand of a medium size city.

Could there be a power surge when the appliances are activated?

No, the technology is designed to avoid this type of occurrence. Activations are timed, which also works to avoid a power surge.

Who do I call when I have questions or problems?

Questions about this program should be directed to our peaksaver PLUS representatives at 1-866-813-2226.

Businesses must use much more electricity than residential customers? Why are you asking regular homeowners to take these measures?

Everyone can help reduce strain on the electrical system. There are many conservation programs for commercial properties and industry as well. For example, there is a program similar to peaksaver PLUS wherein companies sign contracts to reduce their electricity consumption during peak periods. Visit for more information.

Do I have to participate?

No, you do not have to participate. peaksaver PLUS is a voluntary program and you can opt out at any time. We’re confident that people will find it to be an easy way to help reduce the strain on our electricity system and benefit the environment.

Why does Hydro Ottawa have this program anyway?

We are always looking for ways to help our customers and our province better manage our electricity use. Programs like peaksaver PLUS help everyone in the long run by reducing the need to import electricity and reducing the pressures on our distribution system.

If peaksaver PLUS is not suitable for my lifestyle can I stop being part of the program?

Yes, if for whatever reason you are not happy, please call our peaksaver PLUS call centre at 1-866-813-2226 to speak to a representative.