In the US, major energy utility for the state of Illinois Commonwealth Edison is offering its smart meter customers cash incentives or credits to cut electricity usage during periods of high demand as summer temperatures climb in the Midwest.
ComEd has 3,500 customers enrolled on its AC Cycling Thermostat Pilot and Peak Time Savings programme.
Customers need to have a smart meter and a Nest Learning Thermostat or XFINITY Home Thermostat installed to take part in the ComEd programme.
When the utility schedules an Energy Savings Day, customers are offered incentives of up to US$40 to reduce air conditioning during summer’s high demand periods.
Between the hours of 1-4pm, the utility will automatically adjust the temperature, but the customer retains control to change the thermostat at any time.
Val Jensen, senior vice president of customer operations at ComEd, said the deployment of smart meters has made demand response possible: “Our investments in smart meters have enabled greater use of technology and opened the doors for programs that provide customers with more personalised service.”
Peak time savings programme
On 23 July, ComEd called its first Energy Savings Day for customers enrolled in its other demand response program called Peak Time Savings.
As a result, the customers enrolled in this program saved a total of US$135,000.
Currently, more than 58,000 ComEd customers are enrolled in PTS and can earn $1 credit on their electric bills for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity they reduce during PTS hours.
Peak Time Savings, and ComEd’s AC Cycling Thermostat Pilot are part of ComEd’s Smart Grid Exchange, a collaboration between ComEd, entrepreneurs, technology start-ups, universities and customers to explore and design new products, offers and innovative solutions that utilize the intelligence of the smart grid.
Prior to calling an Energy Savings Day, ComEd notifies customers usually the day before by phone and email or through an opt-in text notification.