FirstEnergy plans DR measures for Pennsylvania customers

FirstEnergy utility companies operating in Pennsylvania will offer demand response programmes to their industrial and commercial customers.

In a press statement, FirstEnergy announced that its utility companies Met-Ed, Penn Power and West Penn Power will help their industrial and commercial customers to shift heavy energy usage during peak periods to when energy demand on grid networks are low.

The projects will be deployed in partnership with DR capacity providers EnerNOC and CPower.

Participants of the DR programmes will receive incentives for reducing their energy usage during peak periods.

FirstEnergy is urging its customers to reduce the use of HVAC systems, switch off lights which are not being used or to temporarily shut down industrial processes to be able to reduce their energy consumption.

The energy usage reduction programmes will be deployed from 2017 through to 2020 during the months of June to September.

John Dargie, vice president of the Energy Efficiency department at FirstEnergy, said: “This demand response program is a great opportunity for businesses to improve their bottom line by managing their electricity use.

“In addition to saving energy, businesses that participate can reduce the demand on the electric system and help prevent potential increases in electricity prices when demand is high.”

In total, FirstEnergy owns ten utility firms operating in the US. [First Energy receives PUC approval for electricity grid upgrade].

FirstEnergy and energy efficiency

In early 2016, the company’s utilities in the US state of Ohio submitted energy efficiency plans to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to help their customers to save energy and reduce bills.

In a press statement, FirstEnergy said the approval of the programmes will allow their implementation by Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison as from the first quarter of 2017 through to the last quarter of 2019.

[quote] The energy efficiency plans include a target to reduce electric consumption by 800,000MWh annually.

In putting the proposals together, FirstEnergy’s member utilities engaged in various consultation with stakeholders in the energy efficiency industry and consumer advocates.

Charles E. Jones, FirstEnergy President commented: “Our proposal supports FirstEnergy’s transition to a cleaner energy future.”

The energy efficiency plans will provide customers with additional tools to manage their electric use and support environmental benefits, added Jones. The plans include programmes such as the Low-Income New Homes Programme which offers incentives to newly connected homes for reducing their energy consumption and the Energy Efficient Homes Programme which promotes customer education on energy efficiency.

The Energy Efficient Homes Programme will use various methods to ensure outreach to consumers including school education, energy efficiency kits and home energy audits.

The filed portfolio also includes programmes such as the Energy Efficient Products, Appliance Turn-in, Direct Load Control and the Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programme.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.