National Grid uses forecasting tech to boost efficiency


The partnership allowed the development and launch of a new energy management solution ConnectedSolutions for utility’s customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The platform is said to utilise Earth Network’s WeatherBug Home solution to allow consumers to integrate their smart devices and appliances for a centralised control of power consumption.

According to Earth Network, in the US, 50% of a home’s energy usage is driven by weather and as such by adding weather data to the solution, consumers’ insights on appliances’ energy consumption rate and management is increased.

[quote] In a combined statement, the two companies said the new solution is designed to reduce energy use during on-peak periods to reduce individual consumers’ and regional energy’s costs, protect the environment by lowering emissions as well as support state and local energy initiatives.

The online solution is said to automatically optimises customer power usage during peak demands periods such as the occurrence of heavy air conditioning to help the utility to ease the power demand.

Bob Marshall, CEO of Earth Networks said the “IoT-centric approach to energy management was affirmed by a recent National Grid residential pilot finding that WeatherBug Home’s HVAC control and optimization capabilities saved 16.5% in electricity usage when cooling homes, compared to 5.1% HVAC savings from a connected thermostat.”

National Grid consumers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that sign up to use the solution are being given a US$50 incentive per device.

The use of the energy management solution set to be deployed in New York as well, is claimed will help consumers save up to US$35 in bill savings.

Energy efficiency benefits

In other news from National Grid, the utility reported a total saving in customer’s electricity bills of US$1,25 million as a result of the rollout of an energy efficiency pilot that kick-started in Q1 2015.

The utility’s US$46 million Smart Energy Solutions smart grid pilot included 11,000 participating residential and commercial consumers in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Under the pilot, National Grid deployed advanced smart technologies including smart thermostats, meters, picture frames, plugs as well as an online ‘energy portal’ which consumers utilised to access their energy usage.

The pilot implemented the utility’s Time-of-Use electricity pricing to encourage consumers to consume less power during peak periods.

During the utility’s first set of defined peak times, participating consumers reduced their energy consumption by approximately 30%, with average residential consumers saving more than $100.

In the programmes’ ToU second set, an average customer reduced their consumption by 4%. [National Grid smart energy programme achieves 98% retention rate].

Ed White, vice president of New Energy Solutions at National Grid said: “We are thrilled with the encouraging results from the Smart Energy Solutions program and would like to thank our customers for their valuable participation.”

In the pilot’s second year, National Grid said it will enhance communication with consumers by improving the online portal for provision of more information on energy saving.

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