EnerAllies Helps Utilities with Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Solutions

Compelling software-centric tools enable engagement with SMB customers. Find out how we can help.

The Problem

Matching Supply and Demand

Matching electricity supply with demand is one of the energy world’s biggest challenges, according to The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. “Here the data show that society and the electricity-consuming services that people like are generating a growing gap between peaks and valleys of demand,” it wrote in a March 2019.

The Duck Curve

The growing adoption of renewable energy sources including solar and wind with their associated variability of supply have magnified the supply and demand imbalances on the grid.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) began looking at this problem several years ago. It credits the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) for generating the infamous “duck curve” graph that illustrates the growing disparity between the times of day for peak electricity generation relative to those for peak demand.

“The [duck curve] chart underscores the need to fully integrate distributed resources into grid system planning and operations to allow maximum use of variable generation. And today, with more state and local governments looking at policies that increase their use of advanced energy technologies – some aiming for as much as 100% electricity from renewables – finding ways to mitigate the duck is more important than ever.”

duck graph energy

Source: https://www.caiso.com/Documents/FlexibleResourcesHelpRenewables_FastFacts.pdf

The Complication

Trend: Increased Clean Energy Targets

With more states legislating mandates to ‘decarbonize’ their grids, some have set ambitious targets to have as much as 100% of their state’s electricity generated by clean energy, for which renewables are a significant portion. California is one example: It has a 2020 target at 33% clean energy generation and only 6 years to increase its clean energy generation by 50%. That means solving the ‘duck curve’ problem is likely going to become harder, and utilities will need even more tools to address the coming challenges.

Utilities will address these challenges with a portfolio of energy efficiency and demand-side management solutions geared toward a range of its customer segments.

Percent of clean energy trend

Source: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/02/25/golden-state-is-officially-a-third-renewable-growth-not-stopping-though/

One significant segment has been largely ignored: small and medium-sized commercial business (SMBs)

What if utilities could tap the SMB market to help reduce demand at peak times?

“SMBs consume roughly 20 percent of U.S. energy, yet attract less than 5 percent of utility energy efficiency spending – pointing to an untapped potential market for utilities to service.”

Source: Understanding Your SMB Customers Report, https://smartenergycc.org/understanding-your-smb-customers-report/

What if utilities could do it in a way that actually made cost-sensitive SMB customers happy?

“Because SMBs are a broad and diverse group, they often fall into what the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC) calls ‘a forgotten middle ground between residential and larger commercial and industrial energy customers.’ Despite being an immensely large part of our economy, the utility industry knows comparatively little about how to tailor interactions for SMB customers and they are often lumped into marketing programs with larger C&I customers.”

Source: http://www.themcdonnellgroup.com/mg-blog/the-untapped-potential-of-smb-segmentation-in-energy-marketing.html

Enter EnerAllies

What if there was a way to remotely control thermostats of SMB customers who want to save money with an energy efficiency program?

EnerAllies’ Virtual Energy Manager (VEM) software platform already provides a cost-effective energy efficiency (EE) solution for HVAC load controls for SMB customers.

As utilities use EnerAllies’ VEM to capture SMB customers for EE programs, VEM enables the individual HVAC loads to be easily aggregated using its patented software technology.

1mw+ reduction in aggregate loadVEM integrates with third-party APIs to seamlessly respond to utility signals for peak demand shaving. VEM can then apply event-driven responses to participating customer sites, which are presented to the Utility as “aggregated load.”

Utilities can leverage EnerAllies’ low-cost, software-centric solution to target SMB commercial markets for both EE and Demand Side Management programs.

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