Ontario Hydro, Espanola (community-wide retrofit), Profile #16


The Espanola Power Savers Community-Based Conservation Project is a full-scale effort to extract as high as possible a reduction in electricity consumption from a geographically-concentrated area and to research the potential for this type of DSM approach in Ontario. In both the residential and commercial sectors Ontario Hydro's project is being carried out through concentrated marketing, comprehensive energy audits and inspections, and incentives up to the lesser of an efficiency measures' installed costs or its full avoided cost.

One of the most important elements of the Espanola Project is what its managers call its legacy. Key to the project design are means of maintaining the efficiency built into the community, to avoid attrition and "take-back" effects. Hydro believes this requires attitudinal changes and thus the project presents a wealth of approaches to not only implement efficiency in a hurry, but that attempt to capture long-term potentials.

By using the "market saturation" approach in Espanola, the project has already achieved record participation levels in audits with an average of 87% residential and commercial customers participating. Also impressive is the "customer uptake" level, a measure of the accepted measures to the measures recommended by the auditors. Seventy percent (70%) of the kW value of the measures recommended for all homes have been accepted. On average the customer contribution, based on job sites completed as of September 11, 1992, has been $2,260.76 for all-electric homes (Hydro's contribution has been $3,794,35), and $12.98 for non-all-electric homes (Hydro's contribution has been $158.25). The average saving for all-electric homes as of September 11, 1992 was 1.87 kW, and .114 kW for non-all-electric homes.[R#21] As of September 11, 1992 the community had spent $1.3 million on work completed, a remarkable sum for a northern Ontario community of this size.[R#3] Ontario Hydro has recently increased its commitment to the project, from $5.8 million to $9.4 million on the project. This is mainly due to an anticipated increase in customer uptake and an increase in economic measures identified by the auditors. Of this total, $5.9 million will be spent on the program costs (storefront, incentives, audits/inspections, evaluations); and $3.5 million will be spent on research and further evaluation.[R#20]

Espanola is an intriguing case, what many DSM analysts consider to be the most advanced demonstration of its kind since Hood River in 1983. The Results Center in conjunction with Ontario Hydro plans to prepare two profiles of the project. A second profile, slated for late 1993, will present the project's final results and further lessons learned from this cooperative effort in a small northern Ontario community.




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