FortisBC Peak Saver Pilot Tests Feasibility of Residential Demand Response Devices To Support Climate Action Goals
Louisville, KY – Virtual Peaker, a cloud-based SaaS company that empowers modern utilities with the friendliest distributed energy platform on the planet, has announced its first demand response pilot program in Canada with FortisBC, an electricity and natural gas distribution utility based in British Columbia.
Virtual Peaker’s distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) helps utilities like FortisBC seamlessly manage their distributed energy resources including rooftop solar, residential battery storage, and EVs. As renewable sources become more common, utilities can use demand response software to customize and scale their operations.
The FortisBC Peak Saver Pilot Program leverages Virtual Peaker’s software platform to control residential smart devices that help reduce energy use, save money, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and support the province’s climate action goals. Launched in late February, the pilot program remotely adjusts settings on electric space-heating and -cooling equipment as well as electric water heaters, EV chargers, and pool pumps during previously designated short periods of high demand when electricity is most expensive.
The demand response pilot is open to qualified residential customers who can use the “Bring Your Own Device” (customer-provided) or direct-install (utility-provided) approach and live in select areas of Kelowna, British Columbia. FortisBC is utilizing technology from Wi-Fi-connected device manufacturers including ecobee, Honeywell Home, ChargePoint, and Armada Power.
“During cold snaps or heat waves, or when everyone gets home from work and turns their appliances on at the same time, the demand for electricity peaks across our system and makes it more expensive to provide electricity,” said Max Mathies, P.Eng., engineer, Conservation and Energy Management at FortisBC. “Participants in our Peak Saver Pilot Program get to not only test out leading-edge technologies, they can also help us meet our ambitious 30BY30 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030, creating a more sustainable future for all British Columbians.”
“Virtual Peaker welcomes FortisBC as the first Canadian utility to implement our demand response technology that reduces energy usage and cost while preserving customer comfort at home,” said William (Bill) Burke, founder, and CEO of Virtual Peaker. “The energy industry is constantly evolving, and forward-thinking utilities like FortisBC that use our platform to manage and scale their programs can deliver renewable energy that ultimately leads to a more sustainable planet.”
About Virtual Peaker
Virtual Peaker is a cloud-based distributed energy company that empowers modern utilities to build the grid of the future and meet global decarbonization goals. The SaaS company’s platform suites unify all aspects of DER management, from DERMS to customer engagement and load forecasting. Virtual Peaker is a remote-first company that currently employs about 40 people in various locations across the United States. Thanks to a recent $16.6 million venture funding round led by global technology and sustainability investors, Virtual Peaker is expanding its support for forward-thinking utilities that can lead the transformation to a more sustainable electric grid. For more information, visit www.virtual-peaker.com and follow the company on LinkedIn and Twitter (@VirtualPeaker).
FortisBC is a Canadian-owned, British Columbia-based company with more than 2,500 employees who proudly deliver renewable energy, natural gas, and electricity to 1.2 million customers in 135 BC communities and 57 Indigenous communities across 150 traditional territories. The company, a subsidiary of Newfoundland-based Fortis Inc., Canada’s largest private utility, owns approximately 50,000 km of natural gas lines and 7,260 km of electric transmission and distribution power lines. FortisBC is committed to progressive energy solutions as outlined in their 30By30 target (reducing emissions by 30% by 2030) and putting customers first in the ever-evolving energy environment.