ecobee Launches Pilot with California Utility
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
ecobee announced the launch of a pilot program with SDG&E designed to help prevent power outages caused by extreme weather. In the event of an emergency, eligible ecobee customers in SDG&E’s service territory will receive a notification when slight, temporary temperature adjustments are needed on their smart thermostats to reduce demand and help avoid an outage.
Today’s utility customers represent a full spectrum of values, motivations and behaviors. Some are highly motivated by the environmental concerns, others by an affinity for technology. Others prioritize comfort or prefer minimal to no contact with their electricity providers. To better understand exactly who today’s consumers are, we recently updated our consumer segmentation framework.
An equitable and just energy transition requires meaningful opportunities for all electric utility customers to engage with distributed energy resources (DERs) and contribute to the scaling up of demand flexibility programs that are essential for managing the future power grid and addressing the climate crisis. But to date, DERs in the U. S. have been predominantly adopted by higher-income prosumers.
Nearly 1,200 solar panels will roll out in north St. Louis and Jefferson County in Missouri, as part of two new solar energy canopies from Ameren Missouri – its first large-scale solar installations in the area. As the company pushes toward an eventual net-zero carbon emissions future, it also announced in June plans to acquire a 200 MW solar facility in central Missouri.
The federal government expects the price of electricity will continue to rise into 2023, and consumer advocates warn that customer arrears are rising as well. The average price of electricity for residential consumers could reach $0.1524/kWh in 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast last Thursday in its latest Short Term Energy Outlook.
During the hottest days of summer, virtual power plants are popping up everywhere. Some 4,000 home batteries helped keep households cool across Vermont during a recent heat wave while saving customers a collective million dollars. Tesla organized a few thousand customers in its home state of California to use their batteries to help during grid emergencies in exchange for cash.
As part of an ongoing effort to modernize its electric system and improve system reliability, Eversource Energy announced the completion of testing on the battery for the Outer Cape Battery Energy Storage System in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The battery is now able to serve Provincetown and when called upon, can begin providing backup electricity to the 5,700 customers in town during power outages.
Growing California power system reliability threats made vivid by early September Flex Alerts called by the state’s system operator could be relieved by a price signal based on real-time pricing, or RTP, linked to smart customer-owned resources through new enabling technologies, according to the California Public Utilities Commission Energy Division’s June 22 “CalFUSE” proposal.