Con Edison Rewards EV Program Participants for Smart Charging
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Con Ed is rewarding electric vehicle owners in New York and Westchester County for participating in smart charging program. Con Ed and FleetCarma, a company that specializes in electric vehicle technology solutions, are appealing to EV owners to participate in a program called SmartCharge New York that will pay EV owners to charge their vehicles at times when demand for power is not highest.
PG&E said the five cities participating in Step Up and Power Down surpassed their goals for the community initiative encouraging businesses and residents to save energy. The initiative was built on the premise that small actions, like turning off and unplugging electronic devices, can add up to a big impact for California’s sustainable future.
Earlier this year, SGCC published the 2017 State of the Consumer Report to better understand consumer trends and preferences on smart grid-enabled products and services. This report utilized SGCC's 2016 research projects, industry trends in consumer engagement and six utility case studies to create a meta-analysis of how consumers have benefitted from more utility outreach and advancements in grid modernization.
Across the U.S., urban electric utilities face two intersecting challenges. On one hand, customers increasingly demand choice and control over their electricity, fueling growth in distributed energy resources like rooftop solar and programmable thermostats. At the same time, a number of municipal governments are undertaking “smart city” initiatives, aimed at making urban communities more sustainable and livable through design and access to technology.
As utilities and grid operators face new flexibility challenges, demand response is more important than ever. There are a handful of themes emerging from the industry worth exploring: a strong focus on customer engagement; a growing array of demand response resources; an increased focus on non-wires alternatives to infrastructure; and the slow progress when turning pilots into commercial programs.
Rhode Island has launched an expected year-long effort to revamp its utility regulations in a push to modernize its grid and help integrate 1,000 megawatts of new renewable resources. Last month, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo directed the RIPUC, RI OER and the Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to develop a “more dynamic” regulatory framework to foster a cleaner, less expensive and reliable power system.
EVs in the U.S. make up just a small fraction of cars on the roads, but that's something many people expect and want to change: electrifying the transport sector can provide environmental benefits while also bolstering electric utility revenues. But to significantly raise the public's interest, several problems need to be solved. Range anxiety is a big one — how far can you drive before needing to "gas up?"
Brenda Chew, a research analyst at SEPA, relates her experience at PLMA’s 35th Conference in Nashville and the commonly discussed evolution of demand response. She reflects on SEPA’s own expanded mission — that sees demand response as part of a portfolio of distributed energy resources and their efforts to produce a Top 10 list of utility demand response programs, similar to their annual Top 10 list for utility solar.