Stories & Features

Could your business use a free $230 smart water heating controller?

Illustration showing a smart phone app and smart hot water heater
Taking part in a water heater trial could earn you a $50 reward on your bill, and you'll get to keep the controller when the trial is done.

New trial is looking for 50 businesses to participate

It might be the middle of summer right now, but we're already busy looking for ways to reduce demand on our grid during the winter. Helping the province to manage electric water heating more effectively is one way we believe we can lower the amount of infrastructure that needs to be built to meet the ever-growing demand for electricity.

This demand usually peaks between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. when people head home from work. But for many businesses, this also means hot water demand is much lower. We want to see if water heating can be efficiently shut off or limited for these periods. So between now and March 2020, we are partnering with Victoria-based non-profit organization City Green Solutions to run a smart water heater trial, and we're looking for small and medium sized businesses to participate.

How could a free smart water heater controller help your business?

We will provide and install an Aquanta smart water heater controller worth $230 at 50 businesses for free, and also give you a $50 reward on your bill. And, yes, if you're one of those 50 businesses chosen, the controller is yours to keep after the trial ends.

The Aquanta controller is Wi-Fi enabled, meaning that wherever you are, you'll be able to:

  • See how much hot water is available
  • Set manual water heater on and off schedules
  • Adjust auto-efficiency settings to your preferred setting
  • Compare hot water usage and energy data from week to week and month to month
  • Set boost and away periods and adjust alert settings
  • Connect your controller with any Nest thermostats (if applicable)
  • Be alerted of any detected leaks via your smartphone

And of course, while you'll be able to control your water heating via your smartphone, tablet or desktop, you'll also still be able to control it using the manual controls on the tank.

Is your business eligible?

Because this is a relatively small trial, there are some quite specific eligibility requirements. The most critical are that you're a small to medium business who:

  • Is located on Vancouver Island in the following municipalities: Sidney, North Saanich, Central Saanich, Saanich, Victoria, Oak Bay or Esquimalt.
  • Ideally owns your own premises (and if not, are able to easily access your building owner to seek permission)
  • Doesn't require constant access to hot water for health or hygiene reasons (e.g.: a restaurant or a coffee shop)
  • Have a single-phase electric water heater – not a three-phase water heater

You can find all the requirements on our trial information page. If your business doesn't meet all of them, maybe you know one that does. It'd be great if you could forward them this article for consideration.

What do I need to do to register?

Think your business might meet the requirements? Then check out all the details of the program and how to register on our trial information page. It won't cost you anything – and you might even see some savings later in the year!