eMeter to brief Federal officials on integrated smart grid pilot project

Source: eMeter 

To demonstrate positive consumer engagement with the Smart Grid, eMeter Chief Regulatory Officer Chris King will brief members of the Executive Office of the President, the Department of Energy, and the National Science and Technology Council on the results of the PowerCents DC Program - the first pilot in the electric utility industry to test an integrated Smart Grid combination of dynamic pricing, multi-faceted consumer energy information feedback, and smart appliance control - on Thursday, July 1, 2010.

Commissioner of the District of Columbia Public Service Commission (DC PSC) Rick Morgan and members of the Smart Meter Pilot Program, Inc.(SMPPI) board will also participate in the briefing; SMPPI's members are the DC Consumer Utility Board, District of Columbia Public Service Commission (DC PSC), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1900, DC Office of the People's Counsel, and Pepco, a unit of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI). 

"The PowerCents DC program clearly demonstrates that dynamic energy pricing and demand response will lead to significant changes in consumer behavior," said King. "eMeter is thrilled that this administration is taking a closer look at successful demand response programs and what the federal government can do to drive energy efficiency through the Smart Grid." 

PowerCents DC, managed by eMeter Strategic Consulting and overseen by SMPPI, tested about 1,000 Pepco customers in the District of Columbia for two summers and one winter, from mid-2008 to late 2009. Participating residential customers were tested on hourly pricing, critical peak pricing, and critical peak rebates. To help them better understand and manage their energy use, participants received monthly energy reports; in-home display of real-time pricing and month-to-date cost and usage data; and online access to detailed energy consumption and conservation information via eMeter's consumer engagement software solution, Energy Engage. 

"This pilot shows that smart meters combined with smart prices and good energy information gives consumers meaningful energy saving opportunities," said Rick Morgan, Commissioner of the DC PSC. "In the pilot, over 90% of the customers saved money - and over 90% said they would recommend it, with its features of dynamic prices, information, and smart meters, to their family and friends." 

Consumers participating in the PowerCents DC program reduced summer peak demand by up to 50%, with the greatest reductions occurring when dynamic prices were combined with automated air conditioner control via smart thermostats. All three pricing groups - Critical Peak Pricing, Critical Peak Rebate, and Hourly Pricing - had statistically valid peak demand reductions. The analysis by Dr. Frank Wolak, Professor of Economics at Stanford University, determined that low income customers not only reduced their peak usage as well, but also enrolled in the program at higher rates than other customers. Critical Peak Pricing and Critical Peak Rebate customers who saved money saved an average of $44 per year. 

King is a nationally recognized authority on energy regulation and competitive energy markets. He is widely recruited by regulators and legislators to consult on technology issues in electric restructuring and grid management. Chris has testified before Congress and was instrumental in crafting the smart grid provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that paved the way for advanced metering initiatives in the US. In addition, Chris met with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and presented global Smart Grid benefits to delegations at the UN Business for Environment Summit in Seoul last April.

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