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Managing your Electricity Costs –a guide for business

Understanding how and when your facility uses electricity will have an impact on your business’s bottom line. The IESO’s most recent brochure, “Managing Your Electricity Costs: a guide for business” explains how your company can set goals for more efficient energy usage that can significantly reduce your electricity costs. Actively managing your electricity use demonstrates to your customers and community that your organization is committed to managing its electricity costs.

Detailed in the brochure are “5 Keys to Managing Electricity Costs” which can help you to:
• Understand how price, global adjustment and your electricity use affect your bill
• Know where you stand today by monitoring your current pattern of electricity use
• Invest in an energy management plan to help your business set goals for more efficient energy usage
• Control your electricity use by understanding the factors that affect electricity prices
• Cash in on incentives available to your business for conserving electricity
Included in the brochure are case studies of businesses that have implemented some of the five recommendations for managing electricity costs. One of the case studies details some of the steps taken by St. Marys Cement to reduce its energy consumption and costs. In 2006, Fabio Garcia, Plant Manager, and Jim Storey, Electrical Maintenance Manager for the Bowmanville operations at St. Marys Cement recognized that there was room for improvement in the way that St. Marys managed its energy consumption. A cross-functional team was assembled to analyse the plant’s energy consumption. The committee, known as E=MC 2 (St. Marys Cement Energy Management and Conservation Committee) ensured that all affected business units had input into the committee’s mandate, direction and activities. Already, these activities have delivered $870,000 in energy savings. “Some of the lower cost projects yielded the biggest paybacks,” Garcia says. Rescheduling some of their operations to off-peak hours, known as load shifting, saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. To learn how to implement some of the “5 Keys to Managing Electricity Costs” read the full brochure at or request a free copy from

Energy assessment  
  • Conduct energy review of building
  • Review average energy costs per kilowatt hour
  • Review and analyze demand charges
  • Identify opportunities to conserve energy in areas such as: control and scheduling of high energy consuming appliances (window airconditioners, PTAC units)  lighting, heating,  cooling and ventilation, water
  • Identify opportunities for the use, or production of renewable energy
Monitor usage
  • Meter energy usage on all levels (outlets, branch circuits, electrical panels and mains) to determine actual costs of specific appliances and electrical circuits.
  • Determine what is creating these loads and analyze the value they provide to the organization
  • Compare power usage throughout the day
  • Load shift to off-peak periods whenever possible
  • Identify peak energy usage times and implement load shifting, control and scheduling strategies  reduce peak usage and associated demand  charges
Save energy
  • Introduce control and scheduling strategies to turn off high energy devices such as window air conditioners, beverage coolers, work stations, computers and vending machines when not needed 
  • Introduce control and scheduling to turn off lights and adjust lighting levels to conserve energy, extend bulb life and minimize replacement costs
  • Upgrade lighting systems 
  • Install an Energy Management System to conserve energy and save money.