Connecting our Communities: BGE Tackles Connected Technologies in Annapolis, Maryland as Part of Smart City Planning
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- Mar 31, 2020 3:45 pm GMTMar 31, 2020 4:06 pm GMT
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This item is part of the Special Issue - 2020-03 - Innovation in Power, click here for more
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is leading the way in defining the role of utilities in smart cities through its innovative Connected Communities program, which focuses on leveraging technology and BGE infrastructure to improve the lives of customers. The company is doing this a number of ways, including investing in smart and automated technologies like smart lighting, renewables, peak based pricing, electric vehicle infrastructure, and more. Now, with new realities surrounding pandemic response, BGE is stepping up to support business continuity through connected technology. Its team is working with local government stakeholders to identify the essential operations and services that would benefit most.
As part of its Connected Communities initiative, BGE is rolling out the Connected Home and Small Business Demonstration (CHBD), which recognizes individual utility customers as critical participants in both smart city planning and operations. It will be offering 200 residents and small businesses connected home technologies, as part of a technology trial, to help them automate and reduce energy use. Participants will receive connected technologies such as smart thermostats, door and window sensors, Amazon Dots, and temperature sensors. Devices will be controlled through a dedicated BGE “Connected Annapolis” app. As part of the Demonstration, BGE is evaluating the impact of these technologies on a diverse customer user group including, but not limited to, low income, seniors, and small business.
What is most unique about BGE’s CHBD is that the program is highly focused on customer education. BGE believes that education is a critical component of technology adoption. The company is not just handing devices to customers and wishing them well; BGE has created a centralized web-based education tool that offers energy saving tips and tutorials, and access to direct communication with a customer support team. Through the web-based portal, BGE customers can log on to the app, which helps streamline the experience and gives BGE an opportunity to evaluate user metrics to develop insights that will in the long run inform ways to improve the user experience. In addition, BGE will be conducting training for participants and will discuss the benefits with the different community groups.
No technology trial would be complete without a sophisticated qualitative and quantitative research program. BGE is speaking with its demonstration participants directly about the impact of these technologies on their lives as well as their utility bills. BGE wants to know which devices are most appealing and which offer the greatest impact on customers’ energy and financial savings.
Learn more about the Connected Home and Small Business Demonstration at connectedannapolis.com or contact Sam duPont at Samuel.duPont@bge.com.