Demand response program successfully tested


Dallas, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 19, 2008 – U.S. utility Reliant Energy has announced the successful installation and testing of the first demand response system at a Dallas/Fort Worth residence, after having reported late last year that its Houston-based tests were also successful.

"Reducing peak demand delays the need for costly new power plants, conserves resources and, ultimately, helps moderate price," said Glen Stancil, Reliant Energy’s vice president of Smart Energy research and development. "This is the first of a number of new products and services we plan to launch this year that will give customers better control and more insight into how they use energy."

The system uses data collected from smart meters, coupled with broadband over power line technology, to communicate with and control web-programmable thermostats and high-usage appliances in the home. During times of high electricity usage across the state, the system can be used to increase thermostat settings by a few degrees or cycle off air conditioning systems for short periods of time.

Reliant’s program, called the Energy Saver Partner, offers customers a free web-controlled, programmable thermostat (a $250 value), a free 25-point air conditioning inspection (a $75 value), an enrollment bonus and monthly bill credits from May through September.

The pilot is part of a larger study sponsored by the Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies (CCET) to develop demand-response programs. Findings from the CCET pilot will be shared with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and retail providers to enable new market tools and demand-response programs. The CCET is an organization of 19 Texas electric and high-tech companies joined by five universities in a collaborative effort to modernize the Texas electric system.

The state’s leading electric market participants have begun a two-year study to assess the technology in Houston and in Dallas. Austin Energy is coordinating results of its own demand response program in Austin. Participants in the Dallas pilot include Oncor, Reliant Energy, TXU Energy, Direct Energy, Current Group LLC and Corporate Systems Engineering. AEP Texas is participating financially in the project.