The incentives will be based on measurable electricity reductions.
In North America, data centres are outpacing other sectors for electric energy and represent approximately 1.5 per cent of the demand for electricity.
In Toronto, that would equal approximately 60 megawatts of the city's 5,000 megawatt power demand. Market projections indicate that in the next five years, energy consumed by data centres will double.
This is the first time that Toronto Hydro has specifically targeted data centres with financial incentives to cut their power usage. Approximately 80 per cent of Toronto's electricity demand comes from Toronto Hydro's commercial and industrial customers.
"This program will encourage electricity conservation through the use of improved equipment layout designs, the use of energy efficient products including server and software technology as well as improved air cooling systems," said David O'Brien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Hydro Corporation. "It's a sensible way for businesses and institutions to reduce their operating costs, and help the environment."
Toronto Hydro will work with data centre facilities and information technology organizations to integrate their approaches to energy conservation.
Participants in the Toronto Hydro program should see immediate and on-going financial savings through reduced energy consumption, and there will be associated environmental benefits such as reduced carbon emissions.
The program, supported by the Ontario Power Authority, will provide up to $300 per measurable kilowatt reduction. Energy savings resulting from improvements in new or existing data centres, will qualify for the incentives.
This program demonstrates Toronto Hydro's commitment to be a leader in the development and implementation of electricity conservation initiatives in Ontario. The company continues to support its customers with innovative approaches to conservation and demand management. By working together with business, industry, and government, this program will make a significant impact on the environment.
In 2008, Toronto Hydro removed approximately 28 MW off the grid with its portfolio of conservation and demand management programs. In total, that's enough homes to power a town the size of Grimsby. Since launching its programs in 2005, Toronto Hydro has removed more than 387 MW off the grid.