Consumers Energy, Google Nest unveil DR initiative for 100k Michigan customers

US utility Consumers Energy has partnered with Google Nest and Uplight to help some 100,000 customers in Michigan to save energy and money.

The project is part of Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan, which aims to eliminate coal energy generation and to reduce carbon emissions.

Consumers will be provided with Google Nest smart thermostats through July 31 to enable them to participate in demand response initiatives.

Electric customers who receive smart thermostats will be enrolled in the Smart Thermostat Programme, which shifts energy usage to off-peak hours — while also keeping households comfortable – on a few days each year.

Natural gas-only customers also can receive the thermostats.

Households that aren’t eligible for a Google Nest Thermostat E can receive a free Consumers Energy Care Package. The package includes four LED bulbs and three night lights. Such consumers will be enrolled in the Peak Time Rewards programme, which provides payments for shifting energy use away from late afternoons in the summer.

Patti Poppe, the CEO of Consumers Energy, said: “Consumers Energy is committed to Michigan’s success, and we’re excited to help so many of our friends and neighbors during these challenging times by putting this powerful technology into their hands at no cost.

“We want to give our customers more control to manage their energy use, helping reduce their bills while protecting the environment.”

“As we work to protect and support all Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a great tool to help families keep their utility bills down,” said Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “I commend Consumers Energy, Google and Uplight for this innovative partnership, which helps people save money and is another step for our state toward a cleaner energy future.”