Elster Group (Elster) has installed a demonstration program for better management of Hydro-Quebec (Quebec) energy resources. The company‘s EnergyAxis system will help Quebec’s voluntary residential Time it Right program to reduce electricity consumption during peak periods. The system also transmits text messages to the in-home displays to alert customers of critical peak pricing events.

Elster and its technology partners Aztech Associates, supplying in home displays, and Olameter, supplying its Smart Meter network data management solution, inView, and ASP data collection services, have provided Hydro-Quebec with the total solution needed to implement a time of use (TOU) and critical peak pricing (CPP) program.

The company‘s EnergyAxis smart metering system will serve as the foundation for the Time it Right project collecting interval usage data daily for program participants. Aztech Associates’ new in-home display supplies a wireless connection to the company’s smart meters to provide usage and cost information during off-peak, on-peak and critical-peak times.

Program participants have been presented with nine critical peak pricing events to date. Olameter’s data management platform, inView, provides Smart Meter network monitoring, control, and integration capabilities. inView manages Hydro-Québec’s 15-minute load profile data, monthly and daily register data, status and other data collected by the EnergyAxis System, and provides Hydro-Québec with a wide array of operational information enabling them to monitor and operate their Smart Meter network.

Christian Simard, Hydro-Québec’s director for metering and meter reading said, “These new conservation technologies respond to the Energy Board’s request to test new electricity rates that could help customers manage their electricity bill with more efficiency. This pilot project and time-of-use rates are a way of improving the management of Québec’s energy resources.

“This project will help determine if these solutions are effective in practice. We are pleased that Elster, through its Partner Network, has created the solution to offer our customers an opportunity to participate in this demonstration program.”

“We laud the participation of these members of Elster’s Partner Network on developing this successful conservation program,” said Jack Robertson, vice president and general manager, Elster Metering, Canada. “By identifying and providing opportunities for business partnerships to develop better energy management and energy efficiency solutions we have effectively helped Québec customers with new tools to better manage their consumption.”

The program was launched in December 2008 and will run through 2010. Residents from four cities in Québec were given the opportunity to participate in the program. If the Time it Right program is conclusive, such a TOU rate structure could be offered as an option to all Hydro-Québec residential customers.