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In April 2012, the Ontario Minister of Energy established the Ontario Distribution Sector Review Panel to provide expert advice to the government on how to improve efficiencies in the sector with the aim of reducing the financial cost of electricity distribution for electricity consumers. From the start, the electricity distribution sector was helpful and supportive of our efforts, and their advice added immeasurably to our recommendations.
We were ably supported by staff at the Ontario Ministry of Energy, especially Ken Nakahara, Kaleb Ruch and Elizabeth Farrelly. I personally wish to thank my fellow Panel members, Floyd Laughren and David McFadden, for their commitment, their hard work and their pragmatism.
It is now up to all the partners in the electric distribution sector, the government, utilities and their owners and the regulator to deliver on the challenge we have given them.
Investment in cost-effective infrastructure also improves Ontario’s competitiveness with other jurisdictions in North America and around the world.
Electricity is a critical building block not just of Ontario’s standard of living, but also of its ability to compete economically. That is why the Ontario government appointed the Ontario Distribution Sector Review Panel (Panel) to review the province’s local distribution companies (LDCs2). The Panel members heard from close to 85 stakeholders including LDCs, associations, consumer groups, unions, municipalities, government ministries and agencies, financial and investment organizations and individuals from across the province. The Panel has also determined that Ontario’s electricity distribution system will require significant additional resources if it is to replace aging equipment and provide new services. The towns and cities in Ontario at the beginning of the 1900’s also knew they needed an assured supply of this new source of energy. The Macdonald Committee7 recommended that Ontario’s 307 remaining MEUs be merged with the distribution systems then operated by Ontario Hydro to create shoulder-to-shoulder distribution utilities along regional and county lines.
Two-and-a-half years later, the Ontario legislature passed the Energy Competition Act (ECA), putting into place a number of the recommendations of the Macdonald Committee.
Many utilities were sold by their municipal owners, who took advantage of a temporary lifting of a transfer tax to monetize the value of the assets. 88 of the smaller utilities were bought by Hydro One Networks, and absorbed into its distribution network; an 89th, Brampton Hydro, was purchased by Hydro One Inc. Larger utilities were created when their municipal owners were amalgamated, such as Hydro Ottawa, Chatham-Kent Hydro, Greater Sudbury Hydro, Hamilton Hydro, and Toronto Hydro. Since then, there have been a handful of further consolidations among LDCs, including PowerStream, Veridian Connections, Horizon Utilities, and Entegrus Powerlines.
Ontario’s fragmented system for distributing electricity is unique in Canada, a product of history rather than the outcome of rational planning. The range and variety of the province’s LDCs is remarkable and cannot be found in any other jurisdiction in Canada. The fact that the median is so far below the average shows that there is a preponderance of small LDCs in Ontario. Toronto Hydro, which serves the province’s largest city, has an average of 71 customers for every kilometre of distribution line. Hydro One Networks, which predominately serves sparsely populated rural areas, has an average of just 10 customers for every kilometre of distribution line. At the same time, a number of municipalities have multiple distributors serving residents within their municipal boundaries.
A number of pension plans have found electricity distributors to be very attractive investments, as the stable rates-of-return they earn from a regulated industry are ideal for their portfolio. If Ontario was to set out to establish a new electricity distribution system from scratch, it is highly doubtful that it would choose to replicate the current structure.
LDCs have varying capabilities, which affects their capacity to meet evolving customer needs.
The key question for the Panel is whether there is a better way to manage the costs of delivering electricity to the consumer in Ontario. The province’s distribution sector has been able to avoid a lot of attention from consumers because local distribution costs encompass a smaller proportion of a typical electricity bill. Data show that there have been significant increases in the OM&A costs of the distribution sector. To put it another way, in 2011 OM&A costs per customer for small LDCs were, on average, 75% higher than for large LDCs.
Even though the operating costs of small LDCs are generally higher, they would be even greater if they incorporated the full cost of distributing low-voltage power to customers.
Some LDCs, such as Hydro One Brampton, Hydro Ottawa and PowerStream buy high-voltage power from Hydro One Networks, then run it through their own transformer stations to step down or reduce the voltage of the electricity before sending it to consumers.
Some large LDCs and most small and mid-sized LDCs buy their power from Hydro One Networks but at a lower voltage after it has already been stepped down because they have no transformer stations themselves.
These are critical distinctions, as the small and mid-sized LDCs are charged for the use of the transformer stations and other distribution assets required to serve their customers. It is already a struggle for many small LDCs to meet the demands of renewing their networks and adding state-of-the-art technology and services. This pattern of investment is a concern for the future of the electricity system in Ontario, and the families and businesses that depend on it. As a result of the current structure of the distribution sector, there are more facilities and distribution equipment in Ontario than are needed to efficiently serve electricity customers. Approximately half of these service areas, including Guelph, Peterborough, Kingston, Arnprior and Kapuskasing, have a Hydro One Networks operations centre as well as an operations centre for one or more LDCs within their boundaries. The OEB assumed responsibility for regulating the province’s distribution utilities in 1998. A review of the cost of regulation indicates that customers of small LDCs tend to pay more for the regulation of their utilities than customers of large LDCs.
Around the world, dramatic changes are occurring to the way people generate and use electricity.
For decades, LDCs were relatively passive players in the electricity sector, delivering electricity that was generated elsewhere. At the same time, many countries are facing a second challenge: they have to replace the aging and outmoded infrastructure they use to distribute electricity. Just as this new digital world shook up telephone companies and led to the creation of new consumer services, the advent of computerized switching and digital data in electricity distribution will present challenges for LDCs.
The investment needed to transform the province’s current electricity distribution system into one that uses modern technology to provide new customer services will cost billions of dollars.
Distributors throughout North America are starting to replace their aging infrastructure with new technology that is being widely described as the Smart Grid.
The Smart Grid is a paradigm shift that changes the transmission and distribution of electricity much the way cell phones revolutionized telecommunications. Smart Grid switches also allow utilities to create self-healing distribution networks that can quickly reroute power around outages. Next, manufacturers developed stand-alone modules that allow homeowners to turn off lights and small appliances using a smart phone app.
As the number of electric vehicles increase, they will have a number of significant impacts on the distribution system. Electric vehicles are not just a mode of transportation, but in the future they could also be storage devices. The increase in renewable energy generation has presented a challenge for many LDCs in Ontario. This increase in renewable energy is just one aspect of a larger trend towards the decentralization of the power supply. Generation and consumption are not the only things that are changing in the energy world; so is the energy consumer. A recent study has shown there is a new emerging diversity of consumers with different needs and profiles. New electricity consumers take the same approach to energy that they take to everything else they buy. Tomorrow’s LDCs must adapt to increased competition from other service providers such as telephone and cable companies if they hope to satisfy changing customer desires. There is a new era of electrification looming, and LDCs have to adapt, not just for their own sakes, but for their customers’ benefit as well.
From the outset, the Panel’s mandate required that it not just address the status quo, but also position LDCs so they can flourish a decade from now and, in doing so, enhance the economic competitiveness of the province.
To start with, all electricity consumers should be able to access immediate and responsive service from their LDC, whether it is a large utility or a small one. Hydro One Networks has a Geographic Information System (GIS) that gives it data on the location of all of the poles, transformers and equipment on its distribution network. As Chapter 1 has shown, the distribution sector has plenty of room to moderate its costs for delivering electricity. While the CHEC Group has achieved savings, the co-operative model is not stable enough to be used as a template for the transformation of the distribution sector. There has been another more commonly seen method for increasing efficiency, and that is through the merger or acquisition of nearby utilities. Veridian Connections, 1999: Veridian was created though the consolidation of the three neighbouring distribution utilities in Pickering, Ajax and Clarington. It is clear from the results of past mergers and acquisitions that further consolidation is a way to achieve added efficiencies. As if the ongoing challenge of efficiently delivering electricity and energy services is not enough, LDCs are facing an additional financial challenge: persuading the consumer to pay for the renewal and transformation of the distribution networks upon which they depend.
Many LDCs in older downtowns will have to spend billions of dollars to upgrade their assets in order to maintain safety and reliability.
The Conference Board of Canada report acknowledges that this is only a preliminary picture of the financial demands facing distributors. Despite this need for new investment, LDCs are restricted in their ability to attract new financing.
The Smart Grid is just the beginning of what can be done with the digital sensing that will soon be the backbone of all distribution networks. A number of LDCs say it can be difficult to be innovative in the current regulatory environment. The results of previous consolidations have shown that a reduction in the number of utilities can result in significant cost savings.
Four of the five examples of consolidations cited in this chapter did not eliminate any boundaries. Boundaries are an obstacle because they inhibit the efficient use of capital and resources. A new world of electricity distribution is emerging, and it will look a lot different from what Ontarians see today. The next steps will include the adoption of electric vehicles, the spread of energy storage and an increase in distributed energy. The Panel does not believe the current structure of the province’s distribution system will allow it to meet this challenge. There is a strong consensus in the industry that consolidating the province’s LDCs will not only encourage innovation but also result in a less costly and more efficient delivery of electricity.
This is supported not just by the experience of prior mergers and acquisitions in the Ontario distribution sector, but also by numerous international studies. While most of the existing academic studies support the argument for consolidation, the research is not unanimous.
In Ontario, the report of The Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services supports the consensus view that consolidation is a way to reduce costs.
In its presentation to the Panel the EDA, the voice of the province’s LDCs, recognized that the consolidation of fragmented service areas was one of the ways to improve the efficiency of electricity distribution.
As noted in Chapter 1, the structure of the electricity distribution sector in Ontario is unique. While there was a general understanding that the status quo was no longer appropriate, there was also a surprising amount of agreement on what should replace the currently fragmented distribution system: a dramatically reduced number of LDCs.
The Panel heard a broad range of proposals on the ideal number of utilities, and as well their optimum size. The new regional distributor will be anchored by one or more urban centres and will have to provide service to customers in its territory regardless of the costs of service. Northern Ontario needs to be treated differently because of the smaller number of customers spread out over longer distances. This would leave the rest of the province to be served by between 6 and 10 regional distributors.
The Panel feels that the existing LDCs should be encouraged to voluntarily merge their distribution assets and create the new regional distributors within two years. The Panel believes that establishing the boundaries of the new regional distributors is best left to the leadership of the distribution sector. The Panel understands that some stakeholders might prefer a more tangible depiction of what the new map of distribution might look like.
While the eventual number of utilities remains to be determined, there are additional principles the Panel feels are essential if the province is to have an electricity distribution sector that supports the economic well-being of its citizens. Click here for new pictures & details on this energy efficient, earth sheltered, solar powered home. DISCLAIMER : Alway make sure that all of your equipment is properly fused and grounded for safety.
New Feature!  Check out our new feature Solar Projects where you can build easy, do-it-yourself projects for your solar power system to save money and have fun doing it! The heat flow diagram (Figure 1) illustrates how, you can capitalize on the heating, cooling, and electrical load reductions you have realized through your upgrades in the other stages of an integrated approach.
Heating and Cooling System Upgrades chapter will help you identify the opportunities for improving the performance of your heating and cooling system based on the type of system that you have in place. Replace your chillers with new, more energy-efficient, non-chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) models.
Figure 2 shows the interaction of heating, cooling, and electrical loads with the HVAC equipment. The conventional approach to upgrading a heating and cooling system is to address each component of the system individually. Use the information from the Heating and Cooling Survey to investigate options for upgrading your chiller plant.
Cooling systems consist of various components that must work together to operate at highest efficiency while ensuring proper occupant comfort.
There are four types of mechanical compression chillers-centrifugal, screw, scroll, and reciprocating, different applications call for different chiller types. Replacing an older chiller with a new, non-CFC chiller is an excellent opportunity to invest in a high efficiency unit. If the existing chiller is less than 10 years old, retrofitting the chiller to operate on non-CFC refrigerants at the newly reduced loads will probably be your most profitable option. Retrofitting may involve replacing orifice plates, impellers, gaskets, or even the compressor.
Due to their inherent properties, non-CFC refrigerants are not as efficient and thus will affect the chiller efficiency by reducing its cooling tonnage at current or even increased levels of energy consumption. Eighty percent of today's existing chillers are centrifugal chillers that use R-11 as refrigerant. Depending on the upgrades implemented in the previous stages, loads on your cooling system (see Figure 2) likely have been reduced by at least 10 percent, and perhaps by as much as 40 percent. Chillers are frequently oversized, and those in poor condition suffer downtime and significantly increased operating and maintenance costs. When you decide to replace an existing chiller with an energy efficient unit, be sure to evaluate the initial operating and maintenance costs, size, and weight of the new unit.
While the new chiller must be sized for peak loads, be sure that it operates efficiently at part-load conditions, because it is at part load that the chiller operates most of the time. To analyze the profitability of chiller upgrades, you will need to identify the relationship between outdoor air temperature and the cooling load that the chillers must meet.
Mobil Corporation's 340,000-sf research and development building in Dallas, Texas, was up-graded over a 1-year period as an ENERGY STAR Showcase Building.
By committing to ENERGY STAR, Mobil was able to rightsize the three chillers with chillers that were smaller than originally planned. Mobil purchased the chillers before the tune-up and conversion of the return air system for lab spaces. Numerous components of a chiller system can be upgraded to improve system efficiency and increase cooling cost savings.
Central cooling systems generate heat that must be rejected outside the building, a cooling tower is commonly used for this purpose. A more common type of tower, the induced-draft tower, utilizes a propeller fan at the top of the tower to pull air up through the tower. Scaling, corrosion, and biological growth all impede tower efficiency and increase maintenance costs from the resultant condenser fouling and loss of heat transfer.
Two-speed fan motors in combination with fan cycling provide an improvement in control and efficiency over fan cycling alone. Under the right conditions, free cooling or a water side economizer system can generate significant energy savings. A less common method is direct free cooling, in which the condenser and chilled water circuits are linked directly without the use of a separate heat exchanger.
Facilities that require year-round cooling from high sensible heat gains would most likely benefit from direct free cooling. When ambient outdoor conditions are ideal (that is, when the wet-bulb temperature is low enough), the chiller can be shut off and the cooling load may be served exclusively by the cooling tower without the energy-intensive mechanical refrigeration. In buildings that use pumps to transport chilled water or condenser water, an integrated system approach can reduce pumping system energy by 50 percent or more. Replacing oversized impellers, pumps, and motors with rightsized pumps and smaller, energy-efficient motors. Rightsizing pumps to accommodate lower maximum loads can result in energy savings of up to 70 percent.
Calculate your energy savings from rightsizing by comparing rated energy curves at various loads for old and new pump and motor sizes.
Installation of VSDs will ensure that your pumps are performing at maximum efficiency at part-load conditions.
To estimate the annual energy savings you can gain from installing VSDs on pumps, you will need to estimate run times for all part-load conditions, based either on monitoring or load calcula.tions. Ensure that maximum and minimum flow rates through the chiller can be met with chiller pump upgrades. The rated minimum flow for chilled water through the chiller is typically 70 percent of maximum, which also applies to VSD flow reductions.
Pipe the lower velocity chiller bypass water on the production side to flow into the higher velocity chilled water return on the distribution side and not vice versa. Approximately 40 percent of all commercial buildings use boilers for space heating (see Figure 6).
Replacing your existing boiler system with a new, rightsized, more energy-efficient boiler system. The best opportunities for energy savings come with replacing an old or inefficient boiler with a more efficient boiler system. Determine the applicability of converting from a single-boiler system to a staged system of smaller, energy-efficient boilers operating in combination.
To determine whether you should replace your boiler system, you need to understand your building's heating load and your existing boiler's efficiency.
Retrofitting existing boilers can dramatically improve the peak- and part-load efficiency of your boiler and extend the useful life of your heating systems.
New Burners-Efficient burners improve fuel combustion and reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide. Boiler Economizer-A boiler economizer captures waste heat in the exhaust flue gases and uses it to preheat the boiler feedwater.
Baffle Inserts-Baffle inserts induce combustion gases to flow in a turbulent spiral pattern, which increases the efficiency of heat transfer. As discussed in Recommissioning, improved operation and maintenance are important parts of your overall strategy and can provide significant energy savings.
Furnaces are heating plants that produce heat for the purpose of providing thermal comfort for your building.
An integrated system approach can reduce your furnace energy consumption 5 percent to 25 percent. Retrofitting your furnace with additional controls so that it can perform more efficiently. Install new burners-Efficient burners improve fuel combustion and reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide. Install two-stage setback controls-In electrically heated spaces where the temperature is reduced during unoccupied periods, the electric demand needed to bring the space back to its original temperature can be significant. As discussed in Recommissioning, improved operation and maintenance of your systems save energy-often in significant amounts.
Typical unitary systems are single-packaged units, split-system packaged units, heat pump systems, and water-source heat pump systems. Generally speaking, it is not feasible to convert a building from packaged units to central chilling.
Whether your building uses unitary systems for cooling, heating, or both, you can benefit from an integrated system approach. Rightsizing your unitary systems to maximize the benefits of the cooling and heating load reductions can result in significant energy savings. To estimate your energy savings from rightsizing, first measure your cooling and heating loads.
Typically, commercial buildings use unitary systems with cooling capacities greater than 5 tons. The information about the technologies listed below will help you better understand your unitary system and recent technological advances that may increase its rightsizing potential.
Packaged units are packaged HVAC units that are usually mounted on the roof, freeing up valuable indoor floor space.
Single-package units consist of a blower section, filter bank, evaporator coil, at least one compressor (larger units typically have multiple compressors to improve load matching), and an air-cooled condenser section (see Figure 8). Heating is accomplished using either natural gas or electricity; however, natural gas is generally less expensive, depending on the region.
As packaged units age and deteriorate, their efficiency often decreases while the need for maintenance increases. In the last 10 to 15 years, manufacturers have made significant improvements to the efficiency of packaged units.
For a typical 100,000-sf office building that has 10 standard 25-ton packaged units with a SEER rating of 9 and 80 percent electric heat efficiency, electricity costs would be about $71,300 per year ($53,300 for cooling and $18,000 for heating, at $0.08 per kWh).
Installing a new energy-efficient unit with a cooling energy efficiency rating of 13 would result in cooling mode electricity costs of about $36,900 annually—a savings of $16,400 per year. All newer packaged rooftop units are equipped with factory-installed microprocessor controls.
Other unitary systems, if upgraded to high efficiency systems, offer much the same potential for energy savings. Split-system packaged units (see Figure 10) have an outdoor pad or rooftop- mounted air-cooled condenser. Air-source heat pump systems are typically rooftop units, packaged either complete or as split systems. Heat pump applications are best suited to relatively warm climates, such as the Southeastern United States, and to areas where the availability of natural gas for heating is low.
Split-package heat pumps are designed with an air-handling unit located inside the conditioned space, and both the condenser and compressor are packaged in units for outdoor installation on a pad or on the roof. Due to their improved annual efficiency, air-source heat pumps are good candidates for replacing packaged cooling units with electric-resistance heating coils. In hot weather, a cooling tower removes heat from the water loop; in cooler weather, a central boiler heats the water.
As shown in Figure 11, water-loop heat pump systems allow for simultaneous heating and cooling by multiple separate and distinct units, and thus increase individual comfort.
In addition to the strategies outlined in previous sections, other worthwhile technological strategies warrant further attention for some applications. An additional strategy for improving the efficiency of your HVAC equipment is the geothermal heat pump.
Due to the relative stability of ground temperature, geothermal heat pump systems are inherently more efficient than air-source heat pumps, which rely on outside air as the medium which receives heat from the heat pump or from which heat is extracted by the heat pump. District cooling is a shift in the generation location of chilled water from inside a facility to a local chilled-water producer.
Most district cooling plants are modern facilities that use energy-efficient generation methods.
The need for buildings to own and use refrigerants is eliminated along with refrigerant compliance responsibilities, handling regulations, rising replacement costs, and capacity-loss issues. Ice can be generated at off-peak hours (when utility demand and rates are lowest) and used at peak cooling periods to supplement chilled-water production, yielding a lower chilled-water temperature. Chilled water can be purchased without the expense of installing, operating, or maintaining one’s own chiller.
Radiant heating and cooling, also called hydronic heating and cooling, differs from standard HVAC design in that it uses water distribution instead of air distribution to meet a building’s heating and cooling needs. In a radiant cooling system, cold water is pumped through special panels or grids of tubing mounted in the walls, ceilings, or floors.

As discussed in load reductions and fan systems, the amount of outdoor air required to ventilate your building is actually much smaller than the amount of air that must be circulated through cooling coils to handle cooling load. Cool storage is a means of using less expensive off-peak power to produce cooling for the building. Generally, the most cost effective type of cool-storage design and operating strategy is the partial-storage system shown in Figure 12. The cost effectiveness of cool-storage systems varies considerably depending on the specific application. Designing or modifying the chilled water distribution system to have a lower supply temperature and a higher return temperature than normal provides more cooling capacity for the same amount of chilled water flow. Because a chiller operates less efficiently as it supplies colder chilled water, high temperature-difference distribution systems are most appropriate when combined with cool-storage systems, as discussed above.
High temperature difference distribution systems are most cost effective in new construction, because reduced chilled water flow requirements reduce the capital cost of pumps, piping, and heat exchangers. The process of evaporating water or another fluid absorbs heat, just as a kettle must be heated before the water must boil.
There are both direct and indirect types of evaporative coolers and systems used in conjunction with mechanical refrigeration. Compared with standard unitary air-conditioning equipment, indirect evaporative coolers have been shown to use 70 percent less electricity seasonally. While the most common cooling plants use an electric motor to drive a refrigerant compressor, there are nonelectric alternatives, such as engine-driven, steam turbine-driven, and absorption chillers. Gas engine-driven chillers are a cost-effective option for producing chilled water in areas where gas rates are lower than electric rates. Absorption chillers do not use the vapor compression cycle that most mechanical refrigeration uses; instead, they are "driven" by heat, not by a mechanical drive input. There are single- and double-effect absorption systems, and they may be fired directly with a gas burner or indirectly with steam generated by separate equipment. This section has described numerous opportunities for optimizing both the size and efficiency of your building's heating and cooling systems.
To find the most efficient equipment for your building's cooling and heating systems, consult the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's (ACEEE's) Guide To Energy-Efficient Commercial Equipment, 2nd edition. Measure your cooling and heating loads and complete the Heating and Cooling Survey at the end of this document.
Estimate your savings by conducting a Heating and Cooling survey and working with an engineer (on-staff or consultant) to calculate savings potential. Eliminate CFC refrigerants from your chiller system by retrofitting or replacing your chiller.
This survey will familiarize you with the condition of your heating and cooling systems and enable you to determine whether your heating and cooling equipment needs replacing with rightsized, energy-efficient equipment. To prepare to rightsize your heating and cooling systems, compile basic information and measurements about the systems and your facility.
To get started, recruit a survey team including a building engineer, HVAC technician, boiler operator, and electrician. Calculate the maximum cooling load for your building using the following procedure: What is the maximum cooling load for the building (in tons)? If the required capacity of the chiller is 30 percent less than the installed capacity of your existing chiller, you should seriously consider replacing the chiller. For other types of heating systems, there are other ways of measuring maximum heating load.
For systems such as forced-air furnaces and heat pumps that respond to thermostats by cycling on and off, a simple runtime meter will show how much of the time the unit cycles on. Measuring steam boiler loading is similar, but more complicated than for a hot water boiler. Varkie Thomas taught graduate courses in Energy Efficient Building Design, Building Energy Performance Analysis and advised doctoral candidates (1996-2008) as an Adjunct Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) from SOM. Only You can stop So Cal Edison from burying 3,600,000 lbs of highly radioactive waste 100 feet from the ocean. Natural gas is composed primarily of methane, but may also contain ethane, propane and heavier hydrocarbons. Our plan builds a new model for electricity distribution in Ontario, one that creates robust, efficient and well-resourced utilities that will reduce costs to the consumer and support the continued economic growth of this province. John McGrath supplied writing and editorial services, and Navigant Consulting provided the technical and financial analysis of the sector. Elston has extensive energy sector experience, serving as a former president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association and past member of the Board of Hydro One Inc.
McFadden is a partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson and is Chair of the firm’s International Management Committee.
This has permitted the province to enjoy a high standard of living combined with quality health care, education and other public services. In its most recent annual report, the Ontario government’s Task Force on Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Progress said Ontario has great strengths economically and has achieved solid economic results.
In a highly competitive world, it is vital that electricity be delivered in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. In order to ensure that Ontario’s LDCs deliver power at the lowest possible cost and contribute to a strong economic future, the government3 asked the Panel to look at whether a restructured distribution system could lead to price stability, a more efficient and reliable system configuration, as well as fairness and value for money. Panel members recognized that their key responsibility was not to rearrange the pieces to deal with the issues of today, but to make sure the province’s electricity distribution system puts its customers first, so that Ontario can prosper a decade from now and beyond. The Panel found that most presenters and submitters agreed that significant change is required if all the province’s LDCs are to adopt the technological innovations that will enhance the safety and reliability of the electricity system, reduce its operating cost, and enable a renewed focus on the customer. The current structure of electricity distribution is a barrier to this required investment and needs to be changed.
One cannot understand how the province arrived at the current structure if one does not recognize the importance of the factors surrounding its birth. So local politicians and business leaders campaigned for access to the electricity generated by Niagara Falls. At one point in 1923, Ontario had 393 different utilities supplying electricity to customers.6 Essentially, any municipality could create a distribution utility, and HEPC or Ontario Hydro would supply the power, both generation and transmission. A shoulder-to-shoulder distribution system would have resulted in a smaller number of utilities with contiguous boundaries, and no distributors embedded inside another distributor’s territory. The transfer tax holiday eliminated a 33% tax that would have been levied on the proceeds of the sale. However, the pace of consolidation and rationalization of the distribution sector has slowed to a snail’s pace. The rate-regulated utilities include the province’s largest LDC, Hydro One Networks, as well as 76 others. One of the smaller utilities, Hydro 2000, serves just 1,208 customers in the eastern Ontario towns of Alfred and Plantagenet.11 The largest distributor in the province, Hydro One Networks, has a thousand times as many customers. For example, residents and businesses in communities such as Ottawa, Hamilton, Chatham-Kent, Sudbury and Kingston are served by either Hydro One Networks or their local utility, depending on where they live.
The arrangement of Ontario’s distribution system cannot be found anywhere else in Canada. The Panel’s research and analysis shows that the current approach to delivering electricity is costing families, farms and businesses more than it should. 5 shows, 22% of what a typical residential customer in Ontario pays for electricity goes towards distribution charges paid to LDCs. The Panel believes however that there are efficiencies to be found that will ease future costs to consumers.
When one looks closer at individual LDCs, it is clear that OM&A costs per customer are generally higher for smaller LDCs. LDCs do not typically reflect these charges in the standard operating and capital costs reported to the OEB, leading to understated OM&A totals, though they do ultimately pass these transformation and low voltage distribution costs on to their customers through a separate recovery mechanism.
Utilities will need billions of dollars in additional investment to transform themselves into modern LDCs that use up-todate technology and offer higher levels of service to their customers. Hydro One Networks, for instance, has divided the province into 52 separate service areas for distribution.
One of its roles is to protect consumers by setting just and reasonable rates while providing reasonable financial returns for the industry. The large number of LDCs in Ontario requires more OEB resources to monitor their operations and adjudicate their rate applications than would otherwise be the case.
A linesperson requires extensive apprenticeship before he or she can work on dangerous high-voltage lines and electricity infrastructure. Some of the job reductions that will come from the increased efficiency of the sector can be painlessly absorbed by retirements. There is a real danger that the heavy hand of history will hold the sector back from contributing to the future economic well-being of the province. Electricity distributors are having to rethink how they do business in order to stay ahead of the curve. Instead of mega-projects, they are building smaller-scale distributed generation closer to where the energy will be consumed. Some of the larger ones, such as Hydro One Networks, Horizon Utilities and PowerStream have already taken advantage of the new technology to develop new services for customers. This investment is critical to ensuring the preservation of and the future economic prosperity of sustainable communities throughout Ontario. The world of electricity is changing, and Ontario has the chance to harness these changes so that they enhance the province’s economic competiveness and the quality of life of its people. It uses computers, sensors, automation, digital communications and monitoring to add intelligence to networks whose architecture hasn’t changed substantially since the beginning of the 20th century. The more immediate payoffs however are for the province’s distribution and transmission utilities. The urgent need for this transformation was highlighted in the summer of 2012 by the widespread blackouts that hit millions of households in the northeast United States. PowerStream for instance, which serves about 333,000 customers in York Region and Simcoe County, is one of the leaders in engineering computerized intelligence into the distribution network. The same app can connect with a home thermostat, allowing homeowners to raise or lower the temperature on their furnace or central air conditioner. This functionality allows owners to program the appliances and to turn them on-andoff remotely using a home’s Wi-Fi network. They will also be able to use energy they generate from their own solar panels and heat pumps to power the house, feed back into the grid, or charge an electric vehicle. Instead of relying on large generating stations and transmitting the power over long distances, much smaller generators are being connected directly to distribution systems. Wind-power and solar-power generation took off in Ontario after the Ontario government introduced the Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) and microFIT programs, which provide set prices for the production of renewable energy. Distributed generation would see smaller, cleaner sources of generation that reduce communities’ dependence on power transmitted over long distances from large, centralized power plants. Wide-scale storage will fundamentally change the economics of electricity production, as it will allow the stockpiling of energy that previously had to be consumed as soon as it was produced. It used to be said that people just wanted the certainty that lights would go on when they turned on the switch.
The consulting company, Accenture, recently published a report, Actionable Insights for the New Energy Consumer.
They must master the new technologies and ways of doing business if they hope to survive as important players in the energy world. LDCs need to be an active contributor to an electricity system that will enhance the future competiveness of the provincial economy, and provide a firm foundation for sustainable communities.
There will be increased demands for service, and increased requirements for investment to renew and transform the distribution network.
When Ontario’s distributors were born, they were the hightech companies of their age and helped transform the economy.
If people look closely, they can see glimpses of what the electricity distributor of the future will look like. Businesses know that good service brings added value to the customer and can establish a lasting relationship that will return dividends to the business in the future. Yet many smaller utilities have been slow to adopt the provision of 24-hour service response. It is fair to say that innovations in customer service come from larger utilities more often than smaller ones. It has used this information to build a smart-phone app that not only tells customers the location of a power outage, but how many people are affected, whether crews are on site, and when power will be restored. Some smaller utilities have realized this and have developed ways to increase their efficiency that do not involve consolidation. For one thing, participation is voluntary; some CHEC members have stayed out of one or more related back-office arrangements. In the first three years of operation, Veridian reportedly achieved savings of 13% in OM&A expenses.
Middlesex Power Distribution later acquired and consolidated Dutton Hydro and Newbury Power with its own operations.
Residential electricity consumers in Barrie typically saw distribution rate reductions of 11.5% in 2010 and, according to PowerStream, were expected to see another 5% decrease in 2013. Utilities everywhere will also need to invest heavily in innovative technology in order to meet the challenges of the future.
Municipal governments face legal barriers that make it difficult for them to make additional investments in the LDCs they own. Similar computerized intelligence is already being transferred to the home, allowing a thermostat, for instance, to sense when a family has left the home and reduce the level of heating or air-conditioning in order to save money.
They cite a recent OEB decision that prevented Guelph Hydro from recovering the costs of a pilot program for electric vehicles, or the costs of including additional technology in its smart meters to enhance communication with in-home displays and appliances.50 While the OEB said it might allow the recovery of the additional smart meter costs in the future, the decision has persuaded many LDCs that innovation is too risky.
It is important to acknowledge however that the consolidations of the past may understate the extent of possible savings in the future.
The existing boundaries were maintained; only the administration and operations were merged. With fewer boundaries between utilities, they would be able to install new switches and sub-stations so that they serve a wider area.
Currently there is a perverse incentive for a utility to build up its own capital base, rather than share equipment owned by another utility. As a result, the Panel has heard of instances where some LDCs have found it in their interest to install new equipment at their boundaries instead of leveraging assets owned by an adjacent utility. Over the next decade, Ontarians will be changing the way they generate, manage and consume electricity. The LDC of the future must have a stronger balance sheet, and the capacity to adopt new technology and offer advanced services in a cost-effective manner.
The current fragmented nature of Ontario’s electricity distribution system, with its large number of small distributors, is a barrier to the innovation that is needed in the sector, and that its customers deserve.
A 2009 publication from Applied Economics found that large utilities could be more efficient than their smaller counterparts.
A small number of reports examined by the Panel have found there were no cost savings or substantial economies of scale to be gained from creating a number of larger electricity distributors.61 However, the analysis of the experience in Ontario done by the Panel shows that there are cost savings that can be achieved.
No other jurisdiction in Canada has the number or share of small LDCs that are evident in Ontario’s distribution sector. One stakeholder suggested that only one distribution utility was needed to serve the entire province. There should be two regional distributors in the north, one serving the northeast part of Ontario, and the other serving the northwest.
Of the existing LDCs, the Panel expects only one, Toronto Hydro, will remain unchanged as it is already large enough and has contiguous boundaries.
While there was intense consolidation and sale activity in the years immediately following the passage of the ECA, the situation has been relatively stagnant in recent years.
However boundaries should follow the existing structure and architecture of the distribution system, and take into account the existing Hydro One Networks service areas.
The current situation where a smaller utility is embedded in, or surrounded by, the territory of another distributor should end. The creation of the new system of regional distributors should be facilitated by the merger of its assets with those of existing distributors. 5 Meters display charging amps, power, voltage, & more as you change the sun intensity, load usage, etc.
These system sizes are based on 100 watt solar panels and 5 hours of average daily sunshine.
Also, be sure to read and follow the advice and instructions that come with your equipment.
Use 2, 4, 6, or 12 volt batteries to build a system voltage of 12, 24, or 48 volts using series and parallel wiring with just 4 clicks. The cumulative effect of these various load reductions now allows you to install heating and cooling systems that are both more energy efficient and properly sized to accommodate appropriate loads.
However, addressing the interaction between the components using an integrated system approach ultimately results in a more energy-efficient system. Improvements to any system must, of course, incorporate improvements to its individual pieces of equipment. As existing stock of CFCs dwindle and become more expensive, conversion to or replacement with non-CFC chillers is becoming more cost effective. First cost for the installation will be reduced by installing a smaller chiller made possible by the implementation of all upgrade stages. However, the reduced cooling loads obtained through performing a comprehensive upgrade will offset this loss. Even if you haven't implemented upgrades, design loads and actual building demand rarely match. Keep in mind that the energy consumption of a new high efficiency chiller could range from 15 percent to more than 50 percent less than that of the existing chiller. Many chiller manufacturers provide electronic copies of their equipment specifications catalogs on CD-ROM.
Consult the chiller manufacturer's specifications to prepare a load profile for your building gathered using the Heating and Cooling survey (Appendix). Mobil thus saved money on the first cost of the chillers and is reaping significant energy savings over the life of the chillers. In hindsight, had it waited to purchase the chillers last, as prescribed by the ENERGY STAR Approach, the lab return air conversion and tune-up would have reduced the peak cooling load by up to 120 tons and 250 tons respectively.
All cooling towers function as large heat exchangers, transferring heat from the condenser side of the chiller to the outside air by spraying the hot water through a flow of outside air. The induced-draft tower offers better aerodynamics and is generally more efficient than a forced-draft tower.
In cooler, drier climates, water side economizers can provide over 75 percent of the cooling requirements; in warmer climates they may provide only 20 percent.
The most common method is a type of indirect free cooling that uses a separate heat exchanger, typically of the plate-and-frame type.
A disadvantage of using direct free cooling is that bacteria present in the cooling tower water system (described above) may contaminate your chilled water circuit.
A large computer room or data center cooled with a central chilled water system would be a promising application. The most cost-effective method is often trimming or replacing an oversized impeller in an existing centrifugal pump. Compare the motor horsepower of the existing motor with the motor horsepower of the motor with a VSD installed under the part-load conditions. The existing flow rate is 1,040 gallons per minute (GPM), existing operating hours are 3,300 per year, and the pump’s energy consump.tion is 66,900 kWh per year. However, a primary-secondary loop configuration, also known as a production-distribution configuration, can allow for greater energy savings without compromising your chiller performance.
Of these, roughly 65 percent are gas fired, 28 percent are oil fired, and 7 percent are electric.
Energy-efficient boilers have increased heating surface areas and improved controls for fuel and airflow over the range of load conditions. Calculate the energy savings from replacing a boiler by comparing rated energy consumption at various loads for the old and new boiler systems.
Reset controls match the supply of steam with the demand for heat instead of supplying steam at a higher pressure than is needed. When natural gas fuels the boiler, it is important to maintain the stack temperature at a minimum of 250oF to avoid condensation of the water vapor in the flue gases.
An annual tune-up, improved water treatment, and a preventative maintenance program can reduce boiler energy waste by as much as 15 percent. High efficiency furnaces built with condensing heat exchangers have a steady-state efficiency as high as 94 percent.
In this case, if your electric rate structure includes demand charges, install a two-stage setback thermostat with staged supplemental heat and a programmable demand limiter to prevent demand peaks in the morning. As with boiler systems, an annual tune-up and a preventative maintenance program are crucial to achieving and sustaining these savings.
Cabinet- or skid-mounted for easy installation, typical units generally consist of an evaporator, blower, compressor, condenser, and, if a combined system, a heating section. Compared to central chiller plants, unitary systems do not last as long (only 12 to 15 years) and are less efficient.
Depending on the upgrades you have implemented in tune-ups through fan systems, cooling load requirements have probably been reduced between 10 percent and 40 percent. Likewise, unitary systems that are in poor condition suffer downtime and significantly increased operating and maintenance costs. When determining the rightsizing potential of your unitary system, be sure to measure your cooling and heating loads first. Then, using the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) for your old and new systems, compare their respective energy consumption.
In some cases, however, due to space requirements, physical limitations, or small additions, residential-sized unitary systems are used. Heat pump systems can be used in situations where electricity is the only source of energy.
Upgrading your packaged units to high efficiency models will result in substantial long-term energy savings.
If the heating component of the system was improved to 90 percent efficiency, the heating savings would be $2,000 per year.
These controls make maintaining equipment easier and improve the energy efficiency of both the unit and the overall HVAC system. Vertical packaged units (see Figure 9), which are a variation on the packaged unit, are typically designed for indoor installation. Refrigerant piping connects the compressor section to an indoor air-handling unit and evaporator coil. Heating coils can be installed in the air-handling section, particularly if there is a central source of heat such as hot water or steam from a boiler.
In an air-to-air heat pump system, heat is removed from indoor air and rejected to outside air during the cooling cycle. Furthermore, recovering heat from cooled areas and recycling it into other areas adds to the system's efficiency.
Whether or not these strategies are viable for your building depends upon various conditions (for example, size, location, types of business onsite, utility rate structures). Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of the natural heat stored underground to provide space conditioning heating, cooling, and humidity control. Geothermal heat pump systems provide the highest efficiencies in both cooling and heating seasons, as well as in heating water.
As a district cooling customer, your facility would purchase chilled water from a generation plant just as you purchase power from a local utility company.
This lower temperature means that high temperature-difference distribution may be viable, as discussed below.
These panels absorb heat from the building and bring it back to the HVAC plant to be removed from the building. Radiant systems cool the space directly, reducing your ventilation system to the size required to bring in outside air. Cool storage is based upon the principle that a storage medium can be cooled while chiller operating cost is low, and the storage can be discharged when chiller operating cost is high. A partial storage system reduces a building’s maximum electrical demand by shifting a portion of the cooling load from daytime to nighttime. However, high electric-utility peak-demand charges, which generally coincide with the peak cooling period in the afternoon, and a time-of-use rate with a low nighttime kWh charge are factors that make it favorable to shift cooling equipment operation away from the utility peak period. Increasing the difference between the supply and return temperatures by a certain percentage reduces the required water flow by the same percentage.
To reduce the required tank size, cool-storage tanks containing ice or water are generally at lower-than-standard supply temperature. Direct evaporation systems evaporate water directly into the supply air stream, whereas indirect systems cool one air stream that in turn cools the supply air stream through a heat exchanger.
While evaporative cooling equipment generally offers reduced cooling capacity compared to mechanical refrigeration, indirect evaporative precooling can supply half of the annual cooling load in many areas (ASHRAE, 1999, Applications Handbook, Chapter 50). While nonelectric cooling systems are often less expensive to operate, their first cost is higher than that of electric systems, and they come with increased equipment size and maintenance costs.
Gas engine-driven chillers are much like electric chillers, except that they contain an engine rather than a motor.

Moreover, they use water as a refrigerant in conjunction with lithium bromide as the absorption chemical (or ammonia and water) such that there is no ozone-depletion potential from the system.
Before undertaking any of these strategies, you should measure your building's heating and cooling loads.
Install new high efficiency chillers to reduce operating costs and match equipment size to cooling load.
Supply-temperature data logged every few minutes by an EMCS or other data logger can also be analyzed to determine how much of the time the unit is cycled on.
Small quantities of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, sulfur compounds, and water may also be found in natural gas.
However, as with any gaseous material besides air and oxygen, the natural gas vaporized from LNG can cause asphyxiation in an unventilated confinement.
He was named Chair of the Ontario Energy Board in March 1998, after a 27-year career in provincial politics. He has served as past Chair of the Toronto Board of Trade and its Task Force on the Electricity Industry, and was a member of the Ontario government’s Electricity Conservation and Supply Task Force.
This would not have been possible without efficient and cost-effective infrastructure, ranging from roads and transit systems to the provision of electricity. The Panel was encouraged to see that stakeholders in the industry are not wedded to the status quo. In order to ensure the future well-being of Ontarians, the electricity distribution system must be able to adapt to the coming technological and economic challenges.
The pressure grew to such an extent that in 1906 the Ontario government created the Hydro-Electric Power Corporation (HEPC) to transmit power from the Falls.5 HEPC and its successor Ontario Hydro established the generation and transmission facilities that supplied electricity to generations of Ontarians. This was basically the state of affairs until 1996, when a provincially appointed committee led by the Hon. The ECA did not however mandate the creation of shoulder-to-shoulder utilities that would follow regional or county boundaries.
A number of utilities serve a patchwork of widely separated areas with noncontiguous boundaries.
The boundaries of these LDCs are a remnant of the cities’ preamalgamation borders and have not kept pace with change. However, FortisOntario and two investment firms also hold minority interests in a number of other LDCs.
Municipal councillors are often appointed to the Boards of the local utility and municipal governments frequently use the dividends they receive to help pay for municipal services and capital projects. Many other provinces have only a single electricity distributor that is part of a vertically integrated utility handling both the transmission and the distribution of electricity. 9 shows that small LDCs have typically focused their expenditures on maintaining their existing asset base, while medium and large LDCs have undertaken more improvements and capital projects that have added new capacity and services.
Electrical engineers need significant training and experience to design and maintain systems.
There would also be a bigger talent pool in larger LDCs, making it easier to shift employees into vacant positions without the need for new hires.
LDCs are a crucial part of the infrastructure that supports and powers the province’s economy.
The electricity would be produced at a central generation station using hydroelectric, coal, or nuclear energy, where it would then be transmitted, often over long distances, to local communities and then distributed to customers.
In order to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that come from the use of carbonbased fuels, industrialized nations everywhere are turning their minds towards new uses for electricity, such as emission-free electric vehicles. Electro-mechanical switches that were once the backbone of the transmission and distribution systems are going the way of the typewriter.
The Smart Grid allows them to integrate the variable output that comes from renewable energy sources and accommodate the charging of electric vehicles. Repair crews could not restore power quickly because there were no high-tech sensors to allow them to locate outages and reroute power to isolate the problems. Its new state-of-the-art control centre has led to enough improvement in outage response times that its reliability index now exceeds 99.99%. Following this, many homeowners applied for and received microFIT contracts that allowed them to install solar panels and wind turbines to feed electricity back into the grid. Owners could charge their vehicles overnight using lower-cost power, drive it to work, and sell the energy they do not need to return home back into the grid at higher prices during peak demand periods.
Utilities around the world have found this an appealing alternative when faced with community opposition to large transmission lines.
This began changing the traditional one-way flow of electricity from central generating stations such as Niagara Falls or the Darlington nuclear station into a more decentralized, intermittent two-way flow of electricity. High engineering and construction costs currently stand in the way of extensive adoption of energy storage, but technologies are improving. Any electricity distributor of the future will need to meet a number of objectives if it is to serve its customers in the new era of electricity distribution.
The new era of electrification will involve more efficient utilities, with a stronger capital base that will enable them to modernize their equipment and have a renewed focus on the consumer. Two of the province’s larger utilities have used the comprehensive digital data they have obtained to develop new services that bring added value for the customer.
The Cornerstone Hydro Electric Concepts Association (CHEC) is a group of 12 LDCs scattered from Prescott in eastern Ontario to Goderich in the west, and north to Huntsville. In 2012, the operations of Chatham Kent Hydro and Middlesex Power Distribution were merged into one new utility, Entegrus Powerlines. It will make it easier for LDCs to attract the investment that all utilities are going to need in the future. The expectations and requirements of the LDCs and the OEB need to be aligned if innovation is to be encouraged in Ontario’s distribution sector. That is because many of the consolidations were accomplished by amalgamating two utilities that were distances apart and did not have any adjoining boundaries.
Additional savings can be achieved when the boundaries themselves are erased, consolidating neighbouring utilities into one new larger LDC with one contiguous boundary. In addition, physical plants can be rationalized, eliminating the need for multiple control rooms in favour of one advanced system control centre with computerized monitoring and controls. This presents a big challenge for the province’s LDCs, the biggest challenge many have ever faced. Others suggested there should be 6 to 7 LDCs, each with 500,000 to 800,000 customers apiece. The three non-rate regulated utilities in Ontario, Cornwall Electric, Dubreuil Lumber, and the assets serving the Cat Lake community will also be exempt unless they choose to join in. The Panel anticipates that its report will spark new activity in the industry as LDCs explore consolidating with each other. The new regional distributors must have boundaries that are contiguous and stand shoulder-to-shoulder. As the shareholder of Hydro One Inc., the government benefits from the revenue streams it receives from its distribution businesses. These example diagrams, while reasonably accurate, are not meant as a substitute for the recommendations of a licensed electrician.
Battery bank capacities from 300 AmpHours to over 4000 AmpHours are displayed graphically so you can see exactly how to wire the batteries together.
Heating and cooling systems consist mainly of chillers, boilers, cooling towers, and pumps.
The Heating and Cooling Survey Appendix will assist you with evaluating the current condition of your systems and opportunities for improvement.
Reducing heating, cooling, and electrical loads reduces the demand on HVAC equipment, thus saving energy. In addition, compared with assessing components individually, assessing upgrade opportunities for whole systems consumes less time, and therefore less money, in the long term.
Heating and cooling systems condition the air within a building so that occupants are comfortable. When you are replacing refrigerant, use HCFC-123 in place of R-11 and HFC-134a in place of R-12. Thus, you may want to consider rightsizing your existing chiller with a new, smaller, energy-efficient one that matches the newly reduced loads and uses compliant non-CFC refrigerants.
This information can be used to identify the appropriate chiller for your facility, once you have analyzed the building's peak load profile. During the first 10 years, the building's cooling load had been projected to increase to 1,805 tons primarily from heat generated by the increasing number of personal computers and related equipment. This flow of outside air is created with centrifugal or axial fans mounted at the lower end of the tower in the forced-draft tower.
The forced-draft tower is generally quieter and requires less space than an induced-draft tower, but operates at a lower efficiency. However, new, non-chemical water treatment technologies, such as ozone generators, magnetic systems, and ultraviolet irradiation, are available. Although air side economizers, as discussed in Stages Three and Four, are typically less expensive, you should also consider using a water side economizer. It allows for a total bypass of the chiller, transferring heat directly from the chilled water circuit to the condenser water loop (see Figure 4). When pump rightsizing, maximum design capacity of the new impeller or pump must be greater than the measured maximum load for the system.
The difference in horsepower (converted to kW) multiplied by the operating hours for the range of load percentages will give you the expected energy savings in kWh. With the primary-secondary loop configuration (see Figure 5), chillers are equipped with smaller chilled-water pumps, or primary pumps. The combustion efficiency of older boilers is generally between 65 percent and 75 percent, although inefficient boilers can have efficiencies between 40 percent and 60 percent. The figure below shows the percentage of fuel saved as a function of the percentage of excess air for different stack temperatures from a gas-fired boiler. The main components of a warm-air furnace are the heat exchanger, fuel burner, blower or fan, controls, and housing. Consider alternatives to resistance heating to reduce heating costs and overall impact on the environment. Unitary systems are generally used in one-, two-, or three-story buildings that have small cooling loads, such as retail spaces, small office buildings, and classrooms. By knowing what your cooling and heating loads are, you will be better able to rightsize your new unitary system to meet maximum loads.
The combined annual savings of $18,400 equals a reduction in energy costs of more than 25 percent. During heating mode, the cooling system is reversed completely to extract heat from the outside air and to provide it to the space. When temperatures are low, the coefficient of performance (COP) of the heat pump falls dramatically.
Rather than converting chemical energy to heat, as in a furnace, geothermal heat pumps work by moving heat. Chilled-water plants supply water to a number of customers within the plant district territory, usually encompassing a radius of three to five city blocks.
Also, because district cooling suppliers use modern, non-CFC chillers, CFC chiller equipment in your building can be retired.
This requirement is about 20 percent of the total air recirculation capacity of the average building. Furthermore, chillers tend to be most economical to operate at night, when building cooling loads are low, electric rates may be lower, and lower outdoor temperatures allow the chiller to reject heat more efficiently.
The total chiller capacity required for the building is also less than that of a standard system. A cool storage system is most cost effective when its capital cost is viewed as an incremental cost compared to replacing or constructing a new chilled-water system.
Although indirect systems are more costly, they avoid increasing the humidity of supply air. Where there is a need for heating during the cooling season, heat recovery from both the exhaust and cooling water can improve the efficiency of these systems. Although the system has fewer moving parts than a centrifugal chiller, it is technically complex. Other refrigerants such as ammonia, butane, or propane are also used in industrial processes. Having done so, retrofit or rightsize your heating and cooling equipment based on the load reductions implemented in tune-ups through fan systems.
If you do not have the means of taking these measurements, you may want to contact an independent testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) firm or seek outside engineering services. To determine maximum cooling load, take the following measurements in the afternoon on a typical hot summer day to capture peak load effects on your system. Also, remember that the chiller is operating most of the time at part-load conditions with your newly reduced loads, which increases your rightsizing potential even further.
To determine maximum heating load, take the following measurements in the morning on a typical cold winter day to capture peak load effects on your system. The percentage of heating capacity needed is the time the unit operates divided by the total time during a high heating load period. Instead of multiplying a temperature difference by a factor accounting for the heat content of each GPM, the temperature and pressure properties of the supply steam must be recorded from gauges on the supply line and used to determine the heat content of each pound of steam using a steam table.
To determine maximum heating or cooling load use the procedure described in the heating section for small systems that cycle on and off.
The Figure 5 provides a typical natural gas composition.18 The liquefaction process requires the removal of some of the non-methane components such as water and carbon dioxide from the produced natural gas to prevent them from forming solids when the gas is cooled to about LNG temperature (-256o F).
Appendix 1 explains the differences between LNG and other products used in the industry such as Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) , Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) , Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Gas -to-Liquids (GTL). He is a current member and past Chair of the Canadian Nurses Foundation and a past Chair of the Board of the Walkerton Clean Water Centre. While the ECA did confirm that municipal governments owned the electricity utilities, it required that they be transformed into business corporations under the Ontario Business Corporations Act (OBCA), a departure from the past when local commissions were the norm.
They include for example, Veridian Connections, Erie Thames Powerlines, and Entegrus Powerlines. The status quo also produces examples such as Thornton, a village near Lake Simcoe with 1,000 inhabitants, where the service areas of three separate LDCs converge, namely Hydro One Networks, PowerStream and Innisfil Hydro. Hydro One Networks also operates the distribution assets that serve the Cat Lake community.
FortisOntario owns 10% of Westario Power, which serves communities in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties, as well as 10% of Rideau St Lawrence Distribution and Grimsby Power. 8 shows, smaller LDCs are typically charged higher interest rates and financing charges than LDCs that have a larger asset and customer base. In addition, larger LDCs tend to reinvest the majority of their net income back into the business. Often these centres are just down the road, or in the case of Orangeville, just across the street from the operations centre owned by the local distributor. The next few years present a rare opportunity to rationalize the distribution system with a reduced impact on employees.
Ontario needs to have them be creators, and not just observers, of its future economic growth. Ontario now has the opportunity to ensure that all utilities in the province are equipped to meet these future challenges and deliver the future to the electricity consumer as efficiently as possible.
Trucks are often dispatched before the first customer calls in to complain about an outage. Distributed energy comes in many shapes and sizes: While the distributed energy of today is renewable energy, in the future it will likely include energy storage. Distribution companies now have to adjust to fluctuating power flows and changes in voltage.
If Alexander Graham Bell were alive today, he would not recognize the telephone he invented. Secondly, CHEC’s largest member, Collus Power, has entered into a partnership with PowerStream, to get the advantages that come from linking with a larger, innovative utility. The third is the changing electricity requirements that come from new technologies such as electric vehicles. If the utility sells or transfers assets to a private investor, a transfer tax of up to 33% is paid to the province on the fair market value of those assets. There will also be fewer instances of the oft-heard complaint that crews from one LDC must pass through another LDC’s service area in order to attend to its own customers, requiring trucks to drive further than what ought to be necessary – a clear example of inefficiency. Ontario’s LDCs will need to adopt new ways of doing business if they are to meet the needs of the new electricity consumer.
Another participant felt Ontario should have 8 regional distributors centered on an urban hub, each with at least 500,000 customers and a rate base of at least $1 billion.
Each new regional distributor in southern Ontario should have a minimum of 400,000 customers.
Since consolidation is a proven method to curb costs, ensure the broadest adoption of technological innovation and make the necessary funding available at the lowest price, inaction is not in the best interests of the consumers or the province. Of course, under actual operating conditions a solar power system does not produce full output every day. Certain grounding and fusing circuits have been omitted from the wiring diagrams for clarity. These examples are a guide only and are meant to demonstrate how typical system components are connected together. There are central heating and cooling systems, and unitary systems that combine heating and cooling. Heating and cooling system components, particularly in central systems, interact with each other extensively. To improve your building's overall efficiency, modifications in the design or operation of one set of components will affect, the operation of other equipment within the system.
An energy services professional or consulting engineer can develop the new peak load profile. Prior to the Showcase project, Mobil was planning to replace its three R-11 chillers with larger R-123 chillers, sized to provide the additional cooling capacity. Both forced-draft and induced-draft cooling towers (Figure 3) employ a surface contact medium or fill to increase contact surface and improve the transfer of heat between hot water from the chiller and the outside air. Ozone is a powerful oxidant and biocide that can replace chemicals completely in some cases. Fan power is proportional to the cube of the airflow rate; thus, a reduction of 20 percent in fan airflow (and speed) will correspond to a reduction of 49 percent in fan power. These are constant-flow pumps that operate with a lower pressure drop than in a single-loop configuration. Energy-efficient gas- or oil-fired boiler systems can have efficiencies between 85 and 95 percent.
For example, with the use of an economizer, a boiler operating at a stack temperature of 500oF and 80 percent excess air would realize a 7 percent fuel savings (see Figure 7). If your unitary systems are 10 years old or older, you can realize energy savings by replacing unitary systems with rightsized, energy-efficient models. The ENERGY STAR label is found on various high efficiency heating, cooling, and control products and can help you differentiate between these and standard efficiency products. However, in a water-loop heat pump, water replaces the outdoor air as the source or sink for heat, depending on the cycle in use. During the heating season, a geothermal heat pump can move heat taken from the ground and apply it to a building.
As water has a much higher capacity to store heat or cold than air, a much smaller volume of water can be circulated, further reducing costs. Cooling energy is stored in tanks of water, ice and water, or water circulating around chemical modules that freeze and thaw. Evaporative cooling can also be used to precool air to reduce the load on a mechanical refrigeration system. Laughren served as a member of the Ontario legislature from 1971 to 1998, holding such roles as Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance. McFadden is a member of the Smart Grid Forum of the Independent Electricity System Operator, the Energy Council of Canada and the Council for Clean and Reliable Electricity. Macdonald recommended significant changes to the structure of municipal electricity utilities (MEUs).
In 2007, Corix Utilities, whose majority shareholder is the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, bought a 10% interest in Chatham-Kent Energy, now known as Entegrus. Larger LDCs generally have access to a wider variety of capital markets, and benefit from the best terms and lowest debt costs. This promises to be a far more complex and sophisticated role than Ontario’s LDCs are used to currently. If this were the recording industry, it would be like jumping from LPs to digital MP3 files.
Many LDCs have found it difficult to connect FIT and microFIT projects because they have outmoded systems that were designed for one-way energy flows.
Instead of being passive consumers, many want to have increased control over the electricity they use. Thomas Edison on the other hand, the father of the light bulb and electricity distribution, would feel quite at home with the current use of his inventions.
While the transfer tax does serve an important function of protecting payments made by distributors in lieu of taxes (PILs), it is also a major deterrent for private sector investment in the sector.
Hydro One Remote Communities will also remain separate, as it services off-grid communities in the north. Cooling systems generally have higher space conditioning capacities than heating systems, because a large portion of the building’s heating requirements is supplied by waste heat from the people, lighting, and office equipment. Using the ENERGY STAR Approach, Mobil identified profitable opportunities to reduce the building's cooling loads.
Magnetic systems are designed to cause scale-forming minerals to precipitate in a low-temperature area away from heat exchanger surfaces, thus producing non-adherent particles. Variable-flow secondary pumps then distribute the chilled water through your building's end-use air-handling devices and have the capability of reducing their speed at part-load conditions.
In some cases, existing packaged cooling units with electric resistance heat can be upgraded to heat pumps for improved energy efficiency. Moreover, when the temperature drops further, heat pumps require supplemental heat, typically electric resistance; thus, effective heating efficiencies become even lower. In the cooling season, this process is reversed, as the building's excess heat is moved back to the ground to provide air conditioning. Radiant cooling can supply the same cooling capacity as other systems but at levels of energy consumption that are typically about 75 percent of those for air-based systems.
This last system, as well as an ice-based system, has the advantage of taking up less space than chilled-water storage because the freezing process can naturally store much more "cold" in a given volume. Mechanical refrigeration can be used to increase the evaporative cooling capacity by cooling the water used for evaporation.
If heat recovery from the exhaust and water jacket are implemented, their efficiency can increase to 2.3 COP. In addition, chiller-heaters, which use absorption technology to provide cooling, heating, or both cooling and heating as required, are available.
Elston was a member of the Ontario Legislature from 1981 to 1995, holding such roles as Minister of Health, Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, Minister of Financial Institutions, and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee. He chaired the Policy and Priorities Board of Cabinet, the Treasury Board and sat on the Cabinet Subcommittee on Industrial Assistance. Upgrades in the five stages provided a total cooling load reduction of 212 tons-more than enough to eliminate the need for larger chillers.
The precipitated particles can then be removed by blowdown, mechanical means or physical flushing. Gas-fired heating sections typically have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of about 80 percent. More recently, dual-fuel heat pumps have become available in areas where natural gas can be used as the supplemental heating source. Although evaporative cooling systems are most effective in dry climates, where the air has a large capacity to absorb evaporating water, they can also be used elsewhere to reduce the annual cooling load on mechanical refrigeration equipment.
While the efficiency of gas engine-driven chillers is much lower than that of electric chillers, total fuel use and pollution emissions can be comparable when considering electric power plant operations.
In most cases the intervening territory between these non-contiguous areas is served by Hydro One Networks.
If you have followed the steps outlined in the other stages, your cooling load may now be low enough to justify retrofitting or rightsizing your cooling system. The effectiveness of a magnetic system can be diminished by a low ratio of dissolved calcium to silica, by the presence of excessive iron in the water, or if it is installed in close proximity to high-voltage power lines. The centrifugal or screw chiller driven by the engine uses an HCFC or HFC refrigerant, much like an electric chiller.

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