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CodeRED emergency notification system reduces energy consumption and saved money during critical peak

Hydro Westmount in Montreal attributed their use of the CodeRED emergency notification system on February 2, 2015 to avoid reaching a critical threshold for energy consumption and saving tens of thousands of dollars in the process. According to Hydro Westmount Communication Officer Sebastian Samuel, outside temperatures of 7 below zero Celsius caused a consumption peak that would soon reach critical thresholds.

Traditionally, Hydro Westmount relied on placing signs outside and posts on their website to encourage residents to use less electricity. Instead, they decided to use their CodeRED emergency notification system to send out an alert to residents, requesting they reduce their energy consumption.

“It was an automatic response. We were able to see a change right away in their use of electricity,” Samuel said. His organization reserves the use of the CodeRED emergency notification system for emergency events only. “In this case, it was critical and at the same time it allowed the city to save money and be more efficient,” he said.

According to the Hydro Westmount Director in a written post, the alert resulted in a much more manageable peak. The reduction prevented Hydro Westmount from overloading the network and causing service interruptions. More importantly, it also helped them avoid an $80,000 overage electric bill.

When temperatures fall within a certain range, Hydro Westmount sees spikes in energy consumption. Their CodeRED alert asked customers to delay using major appliances during peak period, including dryers and dishwashers. “For Internet and signs, people have to be out there to see them or visit a website to see the message. The effect is way lower than the more direct approach with the CodeRED emergency notification system,” Samuel said.

Hydro Westmount through Ville de Westmount has been a CodeRED client since December 2013 and has used the system since to alert residents of power outages and restoration timelines.