The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on May 22 that it will award nearly $3.2 million to seven Smart Grid Data Access projects. The award recipients will also contribute more than $5.7 million to the effort, bringing the total value of these projects to more than $8.9 million. The projects will encourage utilities, local governments, and communities to create programs that empower consumers to better manage their electricity use through improved access to their own electricity consumption data. The projects are funded by DOE's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability using funding from fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and the program is being managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory.
The seven Smart Grid Data Access projects selected for phase I awards are listed below, although final award amounts are subject to negotiation. The Phase I awardees will demonstrate the capability for residential electricity customers or designated third parties to access their electricity usage data. Awardees will also demonstrate the functionality of the software application or tool they are using to provide customer access. For phase II, the Energy Department will select one recipient to receive approximately $2 million in additional funding to apply the tools and software to an entire service territory, region, or community.
San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) – San Diego, California
DOE share: $500,000; Recipient share: $2.4 million
Building on the success of its Biggest Energy Saver program, SDG&E will use social game mechanics to enhance its SDG&E Peak Time Rebate program. Customers will earn points, prizes, and rewards for signing up, saving energy, and responding to Reduce Your Use days, which occur during times of high peak-power demand. For more information, see the DOE fact sheet on this project.
National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) – Mandan, North Dakota
DOE share: $464,000; Recipient share: $464,000
NISC is an information technology company that develops and supports software and hardware solutions for its member-owners, which include utility cooperatives across the nation. NISC will develop the technology to provide electric, natural gas, and water consumption information directly to customers via an online Smart Hub portal. For more information, see the DOE fact sheet on this project.
Pecan Street Inc. – Austin, Texas
DOE share: $500,000; Recipient share: $629,000
Pecan Street Inc. and the Texas Advanced Computing Center will create and begin operating a nonprofit product testing center for consumer-oriented smart grid technologies. For more information, see the DOE fact sheet on this project.
Gulf of Maine Research Institute – Portland, ME
DOE share: $331,000; Recipient share: $331,000
Every 7th and 8th grade student in Maine is issued a laptop computer with Internet access as part of their educational experience. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute will leverage that program as a catalyst for residential customer decision making by giving 7th and 8th grade students access to their families’ electricity consumption data through “PowerHouse,” an interactive online learning environment. For more information, see the DOE fact sheet on this project.
City of Dubuque, Iowa – Dubuque, IA
DOE share: $500,000; Recipient share: $500,000
The City of Dubuque will implement a Smarter Energy Conservation Portal that gives residents access to their electricity consumption data and uses advanced analytics, dynamic visualization, and activity-based engagement to help them better understand their consumption. For more information, see the DOE fact sheet on this project.
Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management, LLC – Newtown Square, PA
DOE share: $400,000; Recipient share: $400,000
Beginning in October 2013, Navy military families will be responsible for their own energy consumption. Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management’s “Shift for Good” community program will leverage this transition to determine which customer engagement strategies will maximize the energy savings for these Navy families. For more information, see the DOE fact sheet on this project.
State of Arizona – Phoenix, AZ
DOE share: $500,000; Recipient share: $998,000
The State of Arizona will provide Automated Meter Reading (AMR) devices to 1,000 customers to allow them to receive their own electric consumption data at a minimum of 15-minute intervals. For more information, see the DOE fact sheet on this project