A new study is looking for ways to save money for municipal electric utilities and the customers they serve. The study, launched jointly by the Municipal Electricity Utilities of Nova Scotia Co-operative and the Department of Energy, will examine ways to manage electricity use during winter months. “Electricity is most expensive to produce during times of peak use — during business hours, during hot days, and especially during the winter,” said Energy Minister Bill Dooks. “We want to help municipal electricity utilities manage that peak, and the costs that go with it.” “If we can shift customer demand away from the peak, everybody can save money — our utilities and our customers,” said Don Regan of the Berwick Electric Commission. Mr. Regan represents one of Nova Scotia’s six municipally owned electric utilities. These utilities purchase energy from Nova Scotia Power and distribute it to local residents — in Antigonish, Berwick, Canso, Lunenburg, Mahone Bay, and Riverport. A homeowner or business delaying electricity use by 15 minutes during a period of peak demand could save a local utility company as much as $1,000. “We asked a typical sampling of local businesses and residences to get involved in the study, and they were happy to help out,” Mr. Regan said. “We all want to find ways to save money. And we need to do it with minimal disruption to the routines of these customers, to make sure our study is grounded in reality.” The study is funded jointly by the municipal electricity utilities and the Department of Energy. Acadia Management Group Inc. of Port Williams, will track and analyze data and develop recommendations.