McMaster University

Project Summary Information

Project Title

Integrating Dynamic Pricing & Customer Feedback on Electricity Usage to Stimulate Residential Conservation & Demand Response

Amount Funded


Project Collaborator(s)

Blue Line Innovations Inc.

LDC Collaborator(s)

Hydro One Networks Inc.


McMaster University, Hamilton and Burlington; Hydro One service area of residential consumers; Blue Line Innovations, Ottawa.

Project Objective

The goal is to identify customers’ reactions and the extent to which customers can reduce peak demand and conserve energy in response to a full integration of dynamic pricing and advanced customer feedback. This will lead to the development of portfolios of pricing plans and customer feedback technologies which will engage a wide range of customers by providing choice, and stimulate additional customer-driven demand response and additional conservation beyond currently observed values. This pilot of 1215 households will evaluate customers’ reaction to a wide portfolio of dynamic pricing plans combined with a range of energy-usage feedback mechanisms used to inform customers on electricity usage and identify opportunities for load shifting and conservation. The effectiveness of the information and feedback on customers’ ability to shift peak load and/or conserve energy will be assessed by the McMaster team.

Company Background

The lead, McMaster University is a research-intensive university in Ontario, known for its innovative research and collaborative research with business. The McMaster DeGroote School of Business has an established history of evaluating energy pricing, and has provided authoritative advice to utilities and governments. McMaster is also producing the next generation of highly qualified graduates for Ontario’s emergent energy technology sector.

Benefit(s) to Ontario Residents and Businesses

Project outcomes regarding the effectiveness of information and feedback combined with innovative electricity rates will provide valuable insight into Ontario’s electric utilities and regulatory agencies regarding novel electric pricing and information to promote a culture of conservation. This insight will potentially lead to residents’ energy savings coming from the integration of amenable pricing plans with relevant information feedback. This demonstration project will foster an Ontario centre of excellence for electricity in data analytics and customer engagement. Scaling of the solution to the rest of North America will take place in Ontario. The project will also help develop the next generation of highly qualified personnel for Ontario’s advanced energy infrastructure.

Project Collaborators

Hydro One Networks Inc. will assist to identify a cross-section of participants and will also be consulted throughout the demonstration project for advice and guidance.

Blue Line Innovations Inc. will be contributing hardware solutions and will work closely with the engineering partners to adapt and test our various hardware and software solutions. They will also provide technical resources dedicated to customer care.

Project Status

  • Participating customers will be recruited in early 2015.
  • The necessary Blue Line equipment will be installed at the customer premises by March 2015.
  • The time period for the customer participation is between April 2015 and March 2016.
  • The report and project completion will be developed by October 2016
  • The commercialization plan will be issued by October 2017.


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Related Documents

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