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Workshops & seminars

Flexing the Grid

The Role of Demand Response in Québec’s Energy Ecosystem

Date & time
Monday, September 11, 2023
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Registration is closed


This event is free



J.W. McConnell Building
1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

Wheel chair accessible


Managing peak electricity demand is a constant challenge for electric utility providers, which is exacerbated by the rapid electrification in the building and transportation sectors. In the past couple of years alone, Quebec has been consistently breaking historic records of peak electricity demand each winter. To address these issues, utilities develop Demand-Side Management strategies to offset peak demand in buildings, which entail various financial schemes to incentivize customers to lower their demand during these periods. However, these relatively new programs face some challenges including limited customer adoption and frequent occupant overrides, which may be driven by the lack of customer awareness, and real or perceived discomfort when participating in peak demand events.

Join us as panelists, including Concordia and Carleton researchers working on this topic, discuss the status of demand response programs recently launched in Quebec with industry professionals leading the design of these programs.

How can you participate? Join us in person or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.

Have questions? Send them to


Mohamed Ouf, Assistant Professor, Concordia University

Mohamed Ouf, Ph.D., P.Eng. is an Assistant Professor at Concordia University’s Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. He is the principal investigator of the Intelligent Buildings and Cities Lab (IBCL) and a member of Concordia’s Centre for Zero Energy Building Studies (CZEBS) and the Next-Generation Cities Institute (NGCI). His research focuses on using data-driven approaches to investigate occupant-building interactions at multiple scales, ranging from zone- to building- and up to urban-scales. More recently, his research is focusing on the role of occupants in the success of Demand Response programs, which will be addressed within this panel.  

Frédéric Pelletier, Chef Coûts et tarification, Hydro Québec

Mr. Pelletier has a has worked for Hydro-Quebec for more than 20 years and is responsible for developing orientations, strategies and policies related to electricity distribution and transmission tariffs and providing the required expertise in pricing and cost recovery. More specifically, he is specialized in rate design, especially in business customers rates, demand response, distributed energy resources, cost allocation and regulation. Mr. Pelletier worked for the distribution and transmission division of HQ over the years, with a brief stint in financial planning. Mr. Pelletier has coauthored, with Dr. Ahmad Faruqui, an article related to HQ dynamic pricing published in the Electricity Journal in March 2022. Finally, Mr. Pelletier holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Sherbrooke.​

Jess Burgess, Principal Consultant and Demand-Response Lead, Econoler

Jess Burgess is a Principal Consultant and the Grid Flexibility Lead at Econoler in Montreal. Jess works with Canadian utilities and grid operators on the planning and evaluation of demand-side management, grid modernization and electrification programs. Prior to Econoler, Jess spent 10 years at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency in Boston, providing program planning and design services for commercial and industrial DSM programs in the US and Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Reed College and a Master of City Planning from MIT.

Burak Gunay, Associate Professor, Carleton University

Burak Gunay, PhD, PEng is an Associate Professor at Carleton University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research examines methods to optimize the operation of buildings for comfort and energy use. He uses the operational data gathered inside modern automation and control networks to learn from the occupants’ comfort, behaviour, and presence patterns. Using operational data, he employs inverse modelling to characterize building equipment operation and the envelope performance. Aside from field-scale data analyses, his research commonly uses building performance simulation.​

Mohamed Osman, PhD Candidate in Building Engineering, Concordia University (Moderator)

Mohamed Osman is a Ph.D. candidate at Intelligent buildings and cities lab (IBCL), Concordia University.  His research focuses on occupant behavior and urban energy modeling. He uses agent-based models for testing scenarios related to large-scale consumer participation in demand response.  As a graduate student, Mohamed has published over 10 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and has received several prestigious scholarships and awards. These include the FRQNT Doctoral Research Scholarship, the ASHRAE Grant-In-Aid Award, and the Best Student Paper Award at the ASHRAE Annual Meeting in 2019.

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