Toronto Hydro has launched Peaksaver Plus – a new, free program which has been designed to reduce strain on the city’s electrical grid.

The device, released on Tuesday, enables people to monitor their electricity usage in real time.

“It allows Toronto Hydro to send a signal to slow down the cycle on the air conditioner, so it continues to run but it actually brings down demand in the city,” explains the company’s Tanya Bruckmueller.

Bruckmueller said Peaksaver Plus shows the difference in electricity consumption by turning things off – a great help during the hot summer months where air conditioners are blasting in many homes and offices.

“You can see [by turning on your toaster that] it actually shows you in real time how much more money you’re spending by turning on that toaster,” she told 680News.

She said Peaksaver Plus reflects the rates at the time of day, noting that rates are more expensive during the day.

“Last week, we managed to take about 60 megawatts of demand off the grid by activating Peaksaver. That’s like taking the city of Orillia off the grid completely.”

The new, free device is being offered to both new and current members.