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DW Keefer's picture
Journalist Independent Journalist and Analyst

DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

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  • May 21, 2020
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Consumers Energy announced a partnership to provide Google Nest thermostats at not cost to up to 100,000 households in Michigan. The utility is actively encouraging customers to shift their energy use away from peak times (typically 2-7 p.m. on weekdays during the summer) when demand rises and electricity is more expensive to provide.

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Michelle Peters's picture
Michelle Peters on May 26, 2020

I think this is a smart way for Cosnumers Energy to boost participation in their demand response program, by putting it in reach of customers who may not have the resources to invest in a smart thermostat. It's also possible that this could be a gateway to increasing customer participation in their EWR programs based on outcome the experience. 

Overall it's a win for Consumers Energy because it builds on the MI Clean Power Initative, launched last spring. It's a win for the customer because they can take part of the program and see results in their bill with minimal discomfort--assuming the correct amount of pre-cooling is done on the day an event is called.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 26, 2020

putting it in reach of customers who may not have the resources to invest in a smart thermostat. It's also possible that this could be a gateway to increasing customer participation in their EWR programs based on outcome the experience. 

Do you think the bigger impediment is the cost of the technology of the awareness of and fluency with the technology? I worry how much of it is the latter, so hopefully implementations will come with really great customer outreach and education. With some advanced smart technology, it can certainly be easy for users to get frustrated and decide it's easier not to use them after all

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