First published on Latest Issue

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Through its electric utility and the Alternative Resource Energy Authority (AREA), the Town of Antigonish and its AREA partners are continuing to move forward with the implementation of unique renewable energy projects. To take the next steps, the participation of residents and utility customers is required for a program called ‘Direct Load Control’.

Energy not supplied by AREA resources comes from the provincial supplier, Nova Scotia Power, Inc. Approximately one-third of the total annual cost paid by the Town of Antigonish is determined by the peak power drawn during the months of December through February when requirements are highest because of electric heating demand. At the time of the peak power, it is possible to turn off energy that is not required at that time, with later restoration of the energy and no inconvenience. The result is a reduced peak and lower annual costs.
The technique is called Direct Load Control and has been tested thoroughly with the Town of Berwick by our Energy Advisor, AMG Energy of Greenwich, Nova Scotia. Results indicate no adverse effects on participating utility customers.
Initial targets for Direct Load Control are domestic hot water heaters and electric heating. The electric loads are controlled for periods of up to an hour or so at the time of the peak demand. A small, CSA certified switch is installed by licensed electricians at a time convenient to the customers and connected to the Internet for control of the hot water heater or electric heating.

At no cost, customers of the Town of Antigonish electric utility now have the opportunity to help keep energy costs low and to pave the way for integration of more energy from renewable sources into the Town’s supply. Participating customers are recognized as Antigonish Energy Partners and are eligible for a number of current and future benefits.
Initially, all that is required to participate is to register on the Town of Antigonish or AMG Energy websites as an Antigonish Energy Partner, providing contact information. A representative from AMG Energy will be in contact shortly thereafter to explain the initiative more completely, answer any questions and complete Energy Partnership registration.

Loads are selected based on minimal effect on Customers. For example, hot water heaters are generally recharged while people are away or do not need hot water and the heating can be delayed with no effect. Loads to be controlled will be agreed prior to implementation and AMG Energy will explain operation in detail.
AMG Energy will install a switch for each load. The switch is controlled over the Internet using the Internet service already available in your home. Information is encrypted to internationally accepted standards and there is no privacy issue beyond that with any other Internet based communication. There will be no costs to the Customer for any of the changes AMG Energy makes.

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