What to do during a peak demand event

Generally speaking, you can follow our energy efficiency tips to save electricity. But please note that during peak demand events, different measures may apply, depending on your business activities.

Essentials

Electric heating

  • Turn down all the thermostats on your premises by 1°C to 4°C, including those on auxiliary heaters, at the start of a peak demand event. When you lower the temperature, your heating system turns off. The lower you set the temperature, the longer it stays off.
  • Reset the thermostats to their usual temperature at the end of the peak demand event if a second event is expected later in the day.

Do you usually turn down the temperature when your premises are unoccupied?

Don’t do it before a peak demand event, because you’d then have to turn the temperature back up in the morning or evening, right in the middle of an event—and you should definitely avoid doing that. But when there’s no peak demand event, carry on as usual.

Warning: If your heating system has trouble maintaining a normal room temperature (20°C to 21°C) in cold weather, this tip is not recommended for you. Keep in mind that the amount of time it takes to get back to the regular temperature after turning down the thermostat depends on how powerful your heating system is.

Electric heating

  • Turn down all the thermostats on your premises by 1°C to 4°C, including those on auxiliary heaters, at the start of a peak demand event. When you lower the temperature, your heating system turns off. The lower you set the temperature, the longer it stays off.
  • Reset the thermostats to their usual temperature at the end of the peak demand event if a second event is expected later in the day.

Do you usually turn down the temperature when your premises are unoccupied?

Don’t do it before a peak demand event, because you’d then have to turn the temperature back up in the morning or evening, right in the middle of an event—and you should definitely avoid doing that. But when there’s no peak demand event, carry on as usual.

Warning: If your heating system has trouble maintaining a normal room temperature (20°C to 21°C) in cold weather, this tip is not recommended for you. Keep in mind that the amount of time it takes to get back to the regular temperature after turning down the thermostat depends on how powerful your heating system is.

Hot water

Reduce the nonessential use of hot water by temporarily changing your habits, because heating water takes a lot of electricity. For more savings, postpone hot water use until after events.

Warning: The water heater will continue to run for a while (up to two hours to heat a full tank) to keep the water at the set temperature. That’s why it’s better to postpone the use of hot water until after a peak demand event.

Hot water

Reduce the nonessential use of hot water by temporarily changing your habits, because heating water takes a lot of electricity. For more savings, postpone hot water use until after events.

Warning: The water heater will continue to run for a while (up to two hours to heat a full tank) to keep the water at the set temperature. That’s why it’s better to postpone the use of hot water until after a peak demand event.

Electrical equipment

  • Reduce or postpone the use of nonessential electrical devices.
  • Turn off or temporarily unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and electronics.

Electrical equipment

  • Reduce or postpone the use of nonessential electrical devices.
  • Turn off or temporarily unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and electronics.

Other things you can do

Air exchanger

Be sure your air exchanger isn’t in exchange mode during peak demand events if they are outside regular business or working hours. Stopping the air exchange for a short time usually has little effect on indoor air quality.

Electric vehicles

Don’t recharge electric vehicles during peak demand events. If they’ve been charged completely overnight, you don’t need to unplug them in the morning.

The amount of time and electricity needed to charge vehicles can vary a great deal, depending on the charger and the battery capacity. Some vehicles can be programmed to charge at a specific time, and some charging stations can be programmed to charge during a specific period. Plan to charge your electric vehicles outside of peak demand events whenever possible and spread out charging to avoid exceeding a power demand of 50 kilowatts.

Greater comfort

Use a fuel-burning auxiliary heating system.

You can use your fuel-burning (oil, propane, natural gas or wood pellets) auxiliary heating system during peak demand events to stay comfortable while relying less on your electric heating.

Preheat your premises ahead of a peak demand event.

Turning up all the thermostats 1°C to 3°C about two hours before a peak demand event will keep you comfortable during the event. But don’t forget to set the temperature a few degrees lower than usual when the event starts, depending on how much electricity you want to save. Residual heat will keep the temperature pleasant during the event, even though you’ve lowered the thermostat.

Tip: Some thermostat models have an “early on” option that lets you program the time you want to have the desired temperature, rather than the time the temperature should start to rise. In that way, your heating system will have stopped running by the time the event begins.

Frequently asked question

Should I get a smart thermostat?

Although they aren’t necessary, smart thermostats make it easier to control heating during peak demand events.

Tool

You can see your business’s hour‑by‑hour electricity use in My Consumption Profile. Look at your electricity use on really cold days, from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m., then compare that to the same times on milder days.

See My Consumption Profile