Each winter, Yukon Energy is forced to rent additional diesel generators to ensure consumer demand can be achieved during winter peak periods. These generators are costly to rent, especially when considering that they are being rented for the entire winter and only used during critical moments. Research indicates that a Demand-Side Management (DSM) strategy could take the place of some of these generators and be a cost-efficient and carbon friendly asset within the Yukon. The purpose of this Demand Side Management project is to determine whether Yukon Territory’s peak electric power consumption can be reduced beyond statistical error through the public’s voluntary reduction in electrical consumption. If the evidence shows that the peak can be significantly reduced, this approach could be a low-cost, low-tech solution to help meet Yukon's electric power needs while decreasing the required investment in new thermal generation.
Our Northern Energy Innovation research team at the YukonU Research Centre has developed a framework to encourage Whitehorse residents to participate in a ‘Beat the Peak’ campaign in collaboration with the project’s partners in winter 2022. This campaign was developed by conducting extensive research pertaining to other low-tech social DSM programs across North America. The Beat the Peak campaign will promote a peak notification system that will alert participants when a peak is to be expected and inform them of actions that they can take to mitigate the peak. Additional initiatives, such as providing positive publicity to businesses who participate in the campaign will also be undertaken.
After the winter, our team will quantitatively assess the effectiveness of the program, using Yukon Energy Corporation’s usage data to determine whether the campaign had any significant effect upon winter peaks. Qualitative feedback, via surveys delivered to participants who registered for the peak notification system, will provide useful information for refining the approach of the program for future winters.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Ross, Industrial Research Chair, Northern Energy Innovation, YukonU Research Centre
Research Lead: Inderjeet Kaur, Research Assistant, Northern Energy Innovation, YukonU
Project Manager: Joe Collier, Project Officer, Northern Energy Innovation, YukonU
Yukon Energy Corporation
ATCO Electric Yukon
Yukon Conservation Society
City of Whitehorse
YukonU Scholarly Activity Grant