An Aquanta water heater controller, similar to the ones being used in the trial. Businesses are being encouraged to participate and potentially lower their bills. (Aquanta)

BC Hydro smart water trial offers free $600 controller and likely lower bills

Smart water heater trial seeks Greater Victoria business participants

BC Hydro team up with City Green Solutions for a trial that offers participating businesses a free $600 Aquanta smart water heater controller, expected to reduce electricity bills.

The trial aims to test the effectiveness of the controllers, as well as giving BC Hydro important data they hope to use to better manage demand on the BC Hydro grid, during peak times in the winter.

Businesses in Sidney, North Saanich, Central Saanich, Saanich, Victoria, Oak Bay and Esquimalt are invited to participate.

ALSO READ: Multiple power outages around Victoria keep BC Hydro crews busy

The way the trial works is the company would turn participants’ hot water heater on and off during key times of the day, via the controller. Peak times are generally from Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

They say most businesses would not notice a difference in the available hot water on the premises, as the hot water heaters provide storage of hot water for long periods of time. In the unlikely event that a shortage of hot water is encountered, businesses can use the app to readjust their water heater.

BC Hydro staff hope to learn if smart water heaters would lead to more efficient management of the grid, which could lead to reducing the amount of infrastructure needed to meet the growing demand for electricity.

The smart water heater controllers could also help consumers save energy and money on their electricity bills.

Participating businesses get to keep the controller after the trial has ended. BC Hydro says the controllers feature inter-connectivity with Nest thermostats and can alert you via smartphone app of any leaks, usually before they occur.

ALSO READ: Grumpy Taxpayer$ praise Saanich plan to purchase surplus BC Hydro land

The controllers also collect data so users can compare their use of hot water and energy from week to week and month to month.

The trial will last approximately 15 months from January 2019 to March 2020. The ‘demand response events’ will primarily occur in the winter periods between November and March.

Victoria-based non-profit organization City Green Solutions administers the program.

“We’ve just run a similar residential program that the home owners loved and now we’re looking for commercial participants,” said Danielle Boulton, program administrator for City Green Solutions.

To join the trial or seek more information email demo@citygreen.ca or call 250-381-9995.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

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