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February 24th, 2010
I was at a training last week at the Connecticut Light & Power headquarters in Berlin, CT. CL&P is a division of Northeast Utilities. The most interesting thing I learned there is that CL&P is working on a residential demand response program.
What is demand response? In this case, CL&P will begin offering rebates for customers to install special meters and switches in their homes that allows the utility to shut off certain appliances when the grid is being pushed, by pushed I mean the demand for electricity is almost more than supply. The obvious example of this is on a hot summer day when everyone is running their air conditioner. In exchange for a lower electricity rate, customers that opt in will allow the utility to shut off their equipment during these peak times. Companies like EnerNoc do this on a commercial and industrial scale.
How much of a discount will customers get? How often will appliances be shut down? When will the program roll out? None of those answers were available to me, but I was encouraged to see this kind of program happening on a residential level. It’s bound to open up new business opportunities and I’m happy to see some tangible evidence of the much-hyped smart grid. Way to go Northeast Utilities!
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