AESP Energy Award Review Series: Eversource’s ConnectedSolutions Demand Response Program
image credit: Eversource
- Apr 9, 2020 3:15 pm GMTApr 9, 2020 3:07 pm GMT
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Earlier this year at the 30th Annual AESP Conference in Anaheim, California, AESP honored the eight winners of the 2020 AESP Energy Awards. These awards were given to utilities who are blazing new path towards the future and creating replicable roadmaps for others to do the same. Recently, AESP also hosted a series of webinars for these award winners to discuss their projects and share their insights with the greater community.
AESP is a proud partner of Energy Central’s ‘Energy Efficiency Community’, and so we wanted to also give a tip of the hat to those award winners by listening in and sharing a quick summary and some key lessons learned from these webinars. As these overviews get published, you can keep track of all of them here. The next one we’d love to share about is the Eversource ConnectedSolutions Demand Response Program, which was honored by AESP as ‘Outstanding Achievement in Residential Program Design & Implementation.’
The Eversource ConnectedSolutions program was created to extend the capabilities of and innovate on top of the existing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model of traditional demand response programs. With a goal of maximizing customer enrollment and satisfaction, Eversource paired a customer-centric approach with innovation in DER management technology by diving in to better understand customer behaviors, the performance of different DER dispatch strategies, and the capability of demand response in the grid of tomorrow.
On the AESP Webinar, Joana Abreu—the Program Manager for Demand Response at Eversource—walked listeners through what the program looks like for customers. For Eversource’s residential customers, this program included thermostat demand response (which would be called 13-17 times during the course of the Summer for 3 hours apiece, in exchange for $20 for signing up and $25 per year), battery demand response (30-60 demand response events during the summer for 2-3 hours apiece, offering customers $225/kW in the summer and $50/kW in the winter), and electric vehicle chargers (only 2-8 events per summer at 3 hours apiece, which required scheduling and Eversource Charger Control).
Customers were clearly excited about these programs, as within a month of launching they had over 10,000 devices on board. In fact, the opt out rate was only 13%, and by the end of year one they had achieved their 3-year enrollment goal. By listening to customers, making the program as easy as possible on them, and making the impact felt by customer minimal, they were able to reduce demand effectively during peak hours, as shown below:
Joana shared some of Eversource’s key takeaways from their initiative, which included:
- Partnerships with manufacturers is key, so get them involved early and often
- Take advantage of the considerable interest that already exists with residential customers
- Their battery program, in particular, was so successful that they’re expanding it more widely in 2020
- Electric vehicles aren’t far behind, and they anticipate a multistate growth in demand response EV rollout
- In the end, their multitude of offerings are specifically designed to attract a wide array of customer types; there’s something for everyone!
If your organization is looking to expand its demand response offerings, you may want to consider replicating some of the success of Eversource, as their honor of ‘Outstanding Achievement in Residential Program Design & Implementation’ was clearly no accident!