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    Canadians Open the Door to Smart Grids: New Consumer Research Released at SmartGrid Canada Conference

  • Oct 15, 2012

    A national online survey conducted by SmartGrid Canada in partnership with the Independent Electricity System Operator shows that Canadian consumers clearly want to be engaged with smart grids - but they want to know more about what value these technologies can deliver.

    "This survey reveals a window of opportunity for our industry," said Alex Bettencourt, Managing Director of SmartGrid Canada. "Canadians are, by and large, very open to the concept of smart grids and smart homes. While they may have an inkling of what it might entail, there's clearly a need for our industry to raise awareness levels through large scale education efforts and address consumer concerns about cost, control and privacy."

    Smart grid describes the application of digital technologies to the existing electrical grid. These changes to today's electricity networks can reduce outages, deliver power more efficiently and allow consumers to manage their electricity use with in-home displays and other technologies.

    The online survey was conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion, a VisionCritical Practice, in English and French, with responses collected from more than 2,000 Canadians in September, 2012. Other findings of the report include:

    • Canadian awareness levels of smart meters are higher than those in the US which is largely a result of large-scale smart meter deployments in Ontario and BC .
    • While favourability levels for smart grids and smart homes were high (68% and 69%), awareness levels were low. Only 27 per cent of respondents indicated that they had at minimum a basic knowledge of smart grids and 40 per cent claimed they had at least some understanding of smart homes.
    • Seventy-two per cent of Ontarians indicated that they have changed their energy use in response to time-of-use rates, with a slighter lower percentage (69 per cent) believing that these efforts are having an impact on their bills.
    • While only 17 per cent of Canadians outside of Ontario indicated that they would like to make the switch to time-of-use rates, more than half were interested in learning more about variable pricing options.
    • In terms of personal expenditures on smart home technologies, many consumers indicated that they would be willing to do the following:
      • Forty-five per cent of respondents said that they already have or would consider purchasing a smart appliance within the next three to five years;
      • Almost a third said they already have or would consider participating in a load control program which would allow their utility or another third party to reduce their air conditioning or water heater use during peak demand;
      • A similar percentage were interested in downloading a mobile app that would show how much energy they were using;
      • Just under a quarter of respondents were likely to buy, lease or rent an electric car.
    • Just over a third of respondents indicated that they would be willing to pay one to two dollars more each month to reduce carbon emissions. This was higher than the proportion who were willing to pay more to reduce the number of power outages (29 per cent).
    • Among the perceived downsides of smart grids, 37 per cent of Canadians believe smart grids could lead to a loss of control over their energy use; and while 71 per cent of Canadians felt that smart grids will either save money, or be revenue neutral, 28 per cent believed that they will result in higher costs in the long run.

    "As utilities and others improve our electricity system with smart grid technologies, we have to provide consumers with the information they need to understand the opportunities these changes create and decide for themselves whether they want to get on board," said Paul Murphy, President and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). "Smart grids offer so many options for consumers - detailed consumption information, more efficient appliances, in-home generation and electric cars, for example. All these opportunities can provide many benefits to the consumer - and the system as a whole."

    A copy of the survey results is available from the SmartGrid Canada site at:

    SOURCE: SmartGrid Canada

  • Industry News

    Toyota Canada today took an important step towards the future of sustainable mobility in Canada, announcing that the Toyota Mirai – powered by hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain technology – is coming to

    With its sustainable development strategy and diverse natural resources, Canada is today the 4th leading country in the world for clean energy adoption with two thirds of its electricity generated by renewable resources[1]. To help meet Canadian federal regulations requiring a 50% reduction in coal emissions by 2030 and Nova Scotia regulations requiring 40% renewable energy by 2020, Nexans has installed North America’s longest submarine electricity cables as part of the Maritime Link Project conducted by NSP Maritime Link Inc. (NSPML), an indirect subsidiary of Emera Inc.

  • Keeping Current

    BJ TAKE Vice President of Sales, Doug Wilson, announces that they have partnered with A.M. Agency in Alberta and Next Inc., headquartered in the maritime provinces, to bring its LED lighting products to the Canadian market.

    Doug explains “the significance of these partnerships is that prospective customers in Alberta and the maritime provinces can enjoy the energy-efficient lighting solutions offered by BJ Take while experiencing some of the best customer service in the industry”. He continued, “Canadian manufactured LED lighting products are important to both our environment and our economy. By buying a Canadian made product you are bolstering our economy while having access to local manufacturing that is both flexible and offers short lead times”.

    Stella Cammalleri         Céleste Tremblay

    STANDARD PRODUCTS announces the addition of two new Account Managers to its Montreal Sales Team.

    Stella Cammalleri joins STANDARD with more than 12 years experience in customer service, and a year in the lighting industry. "The addition of Stella will be a great addition to the Montreal Sales Team and will help the company maintain a high level of customer satisfaction," said STANDARD.

    STANDARD also welcomes Céleste Tremblay to its Montréal Sales Team. With more than 15 years of experience in customer service, Céleste will be a great help in building and maintaining relationships with existing and future customers.

    BJ TAKE recently announced that Upper Canada Industries will be taking over the Toronto territory. Vice President of Sales, Doug Wilson explained “the Toronto market represents a major portion of the Ontario marketplace and as such needed to have local customer service that specializes in distributor and specifier relations”. In addition to Central Ontario, Upper Canada Industries will focus on capturing a larger marketshare of the energy-efficient lighting industry in Toronto.

  • Product Showcase

    Industry 4.0 scenarios such as Predictive Maintenance are based on the provision of data and networked communication. For this to happen, IoT-compatible devices equipped with the necessary communication options are required. With its new IoT interface, Rittal is now laying the foundation for the optimal integration of cooling units and chillers in Industry 4.0 applications. This makes continuous communication from the sensor to the cloud possible, as well as connection to superordinate monitoring or energy management systems.

    Despite the rise in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone systems, many technicians and installers are not aware of how to troubleshoot network performance issues to ensure VoIP quality, says IDEAL Networks.

    TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity and sensors, introduces the LUMAWISE Endurance N Enhanced base, creating a platform for customers’ rapid development and manufacture of NEMA/ANSI C136.41 compliant street and outdoor lighting control solutions.

    “With this new development, we are helping designers reduce risk in project schedules and cut the cost of design changes by providing a complete base that enables complex control node solutions, so designers can focus their efforts on value-adding innovations,” says Ben Nelson, TE business development manager.

    Megger now offers a new insulation and continuity tester designed specifically for the telecommunications and cable testing markets.  The MIT485/2TC-LG2 replaces Megger’s original MIT480 range tester.

    This handheld instrument features fixed test voltages of 50 V, 100 V, 250 V and 500 V, as well as variable test voltages from 10 V to 500 V. Insulation testing can be performed up to 100 GΩ at 500 V.  A gated access feature to 500 V prevents accidental application of high voltage to sensitive equipment.

    Less Cumbersome Testing

  • Product Safety Alert