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Electricity rates in Ontario have become horrendously expensive over the past few years.  With Time of Use (TOU) Prices, Ontarians need to keep as much of their hydro consumption at off-peak times as possible,  A very useful tool for monitoring electrical consumption is the Efergy Elite IR Wireless Energy Monitor that  Canadian Niagara Power (CNP) offered to their consumers at no charge for a limited time.  This device is no longer available from CNP.

 

I got mine through CNP's Peaksaver Plus Program promotion, which ended in 2014.  CNP sent an electrician out to install and program it but it's up to the homeowner to keep the monitor updated.  The outside transmitter of the monitor uses wireless communication to broadcast to the monitor's display that can be placed in any convenient location (near a plug) in the house.  Please be aware that CNP does not authorize their customers to adhere devices to their meters and, for safety, only authorized representatives of CNP with proper equipment are permitted to touch CNP's meters.

 

The Efergy Elite IR owner's manual contains everything you need to know to maintain your monitor.  The display isn't smart enough to know about daylight savings time so you need to adjust the time twice a year.  You will also need to update the time of use electricity prices when there is a rate change.

Canadian Niagara Power recommends for customers who wish to have a more in-depth view of their usage to sign up for their online tool (MyHydroEye), which is an excellent tool providing data of their consumption which they can see in annual, monthly and daily views.  Information for this online tool can be found on their website with the activation code listed on their monthly invoice.  This online tool can be much more comprehensive and informative than the Efergy device but I find the instantaneous power consumption display handy for making sure that power is not being unnecessarily being used.  For further information, please visit CNP's website or contact a Customer Service Representative with help in signing up for this tool.

Batteries

My Efergy Elite IR came equipped with an off-brand set of "Vinergy" batteries, one of which had a battery that had corrosion forming on the battery terminals after a couple of years of service. It would be wise to periodically open the battery cover and give each battery a spin to check their condition.  If you see any sign of corrosion, be sure to replace them.  The monitor takes 3 AA 1.5V alkaline batteries.  The transmitter uses 3 AA 3.6V lithium batteries.

Energy Now Display

The 2 important things that appear are the power consumption (in kW) and cost ($/hour).  Power consumption is the flow rate of electricity that is going past your meter.  To consume 1 kW of power, you would need ten 100 W bulbs burning at the same time (10 x 100 W = 1000 W = 1kW), for example.  After 1 hour, these ten 100 W bulbs would have consumed 1 kW-hour (1 kWh).  Using an Off-Peak Rate of 8.7 ¢/kWh, ten 100 W bulbs would cost $0.087/hr (1 kW x $0.087/kWh to operate.  A heater that is rated for 10 Amps would draw approximately 1200 W (10 Amps x 120 Volts = 1200 W or 1.2 kW).  AC power calculations are actually a bit more complex than explained in these examples.


Time Update

  1. Find an accurate clock.  Good examples are found in your mobile phone and your satellite/cable receiver.
  2. Make sure the display is showing "Energy Now".
  3. Press and hold the Time Set button on the back of the display for 2 seconds. The time & date values are shown in the top right corner of the display.
  4. Use the left & right arrow keys on the top of the device to set the adjust the values of each setting.
  5. Use the Mode/Set button on the top of the device to cycle through hours, minutes, month, date, year.

Tariff Rate Update

The Efergy Elite IR wireless energy monitor was programmed for use with Ontario's Time of Use energy pricing.  Whether summer or winter rates are in effect, there are four TOU periods on weekdays with three TOU rates (Off-Peak, Mid-Peak, On-Peak) one Off-Peak TOU rate for the weekend (Saturday & Sunday) and holidays.  Holidays aren't programmed into the monitor so the displayed cost on those days could be incorrect.

Even though there are 4 TOU time periods during the day, only the first three have defined FROM and TO times.  The fourth time period is the remaining time on the 24 hour clock and goes from the the end of Time Period 3 to the the beginning of Time Period 1.  Time Period 5 is the weekend and uses the Off-Peak rate.

  1. Look up the current TOU rates.  The rates may may be different than what is shown in the tables below
  2. Make sure the display is showing "Energy Now".
  3. Press and hold the Mode/Set button on the top of the display for 2 seconds. The tariff rate values are shown in the top right corner of the display.  Use the Left & Right arrows to adjust each value up or down.
  4. The first value to appear is the Impulse Rate (IMP/kWh).  This value should be 1000.
  5. The second value to appear is the currency symbol.  This should be "$"
  6. The next values to appear are the FROM and TO values of each TOU billing period in 24 hour time, first for the summer rates and then for the winter rates:
    1. Summer Tariff Rates (May 1 - October 31)
      1. Definition of Time Periods 1, 2, & 3
      2. Entry of TOU rates for Periods 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.
    2. Winter Tariff Rates (November 1 - April 30)
      1. Definition of Time Periods 1, 2, & 3
      2. Entry of TOU rates for Periods 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.
  7. Once the Tariff Rates are entered, the default value for Carbon Emissions Ratio is 0.17 kgCO2/kWh
  8. The default value for Alarm is 10 kW.  Adjust this with the arrow keys.  To turn the alarm on or off, press the Time Set button on the back of the display.
  9. The last setting is Temperature unit.  Use the arrows to select between Celsius and Fahrenheit.
  10. Exit

Summer

Period
From
To
Rate ($/kWh)
1
19:00
07:00
0.087
2
07:00
11:00
0.132
3
11:00
17:00
0.180
4
n/a
n/a
0.132
5
n/a
n/a
0.087


Winter

Period
From
To
Rate ($/kWh)
1
19:00
07:00
0.087
2
07:00
11:00
0.180
3
11:00
17:00
0.132
4
n/a
n/a
0.180
5
n/a
n/a
0.087