US utility takes over control of consumer smart thermostats


According to a local publication, the energy provider is waiting for an approval from the state energy regulator to implement the Residential Load Management pilot programme.The pilot will include Tucson Electric Power taking over control of consumer’s internet-controlled smart thermostats.

The trial programme will include some 650 residential consumers, who will receive an annual incentive of $40 dollars in addition to reduced monthly energy bills by having their households participating in time-of-use energy pricing.

The utility company will remotely monitor and control consumer’s home air conditioners using the internet connected smart thermostats for between 15 to 20 minutes during peak times.

However, customers will be allowed to opt out of the programme during certain days and times.

The aim is to reduce energy demand during peak periods. The demand response pilot falls under efforts by Tucson Electric Power to meet energy efficiency and conservation mandates set by the Arizona state government. Arizona has a target to cut energy usage by 22% by 2020 from 2010 levels.

Tucson Electric is planning to spend $1.3 million in implementing the pilot project.

Smart grid development

Earlier on in April, Tucson Electric Power filed its smart grid infrastructure upgrade and development plan with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The utility said its 2017 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) includes the company’s current resource portfolio and strategies to help meet energy demand over the next 15 years.

David G. Hutchens, CEO of Tucson Electric Power, said: “We’re evolving from a traditional utility to a more technology- and consumer-focused provider of energy products and services while maintaining reliability, convenience and affordability for our customers.”

The IRP includes Tucson Electric Power improving its energy mix by expanding its portfolio of renewable energy resources including solar and wind to 30% of its total energy capacity by 2030. The utility said it will add up to 800MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Read more…


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