DOE names winner of smart grid data funding opportunity

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has won the second phase of the Department of Energy's Smart Grid Data Access funding opportunity. SDG&E will receive an award of about $2 million to fully adopt its smart grid program designed to get customers more involved in their own energy consumption.

Additionally, SDG&E has committed to providing $2.33 million funding for the phase II effort, bringing the total value of the Phase II project to $4.3 million.

During their Phase I San Diego Energy Challenge, SDG&E gave customers access to their Green Button data, Weekly Energy Summaries, and an opportunity to receive a bill credit for reducing their energy use below their individual “use less than” amount on high demand days.

SDG&E will expand the program across its entire service territory of 1.4 million customers and add behavioral studies and customer outreach efforts. About 400,000 customers will be automatically enrolled to receive targeted motivation and messaging via email and direct mail channels. All of SDG&E’s remaining residential customers will be eligible to participate in the program via web sign up.

New smart grid technologies on the electric grid are generating unprecedented amounts of electricity usage data that can potentially give homes and businesses more control over their electricity choices. However, consumers need tools and products that are convenient and easy to use to make this data into useable information.

The announcement is the final stage of a two-phase Smart Grid Data Access funding opportunity announced in November 2011. For the first phase, seven organizations – SDG&E, National Information Solutions Cooperative, Pecan Street Inc., Gulf of Maine Research Institute, city of Dubuque, Iowa, Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management LLC, and the state of Arizona — created plans for establishing data access policies for consumers and demonstrated software applications designed to help consumers better manage their electricity consumption. Phase I awards totaled nearly $3.2 million.

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