Unless you’re totally off the grid — both literally and figuratively — you know that there are power shortages in California. With California experiencing hotter weather, people working at home, dirty power plant retirements, fires, and Public Safety Power Shutoffs, power outages have become a fact of life.
But the solution to these problems does not have to exclusively be more power generating capabilities. Demand Response is a concept that describes the reduction in power consumption by utility customers to better match the available supply of power. An example would be if homes and businesses reduced their air conditioning needs — by simply raising the set point on their thermostats — during a peak power demand event at 4 PM on a hot summer day.
There are challenges to implementing Demand Response programs, including communicating to customers when they should cut back their power usage, compensating these customers for their inconvenience (keep in mind that utilities profit when they don’t have to purchase very expensive peak power), and installing the hardware and software necessary to initiate and support these services.
OhmConnect has a better way to for customers to participate in Demand Response without expensive equipment and metering. Their approach is to use your existing internet-connected thermostat and smart plugs, in conjunction with data from your electric meter, to provide these Demand Response benefits to the grid. Their business model is simple: customers get paid for lowering electric usage during high demand, and utilities can keep the power on without purchasing expensive peak power.
My guest on this week’s Energy Show is Cisco DeVries, CEO of OhmConnect. Cisco is a legend in the energy industry, having transformed solar financing by pioneering Property Assessed Clean Energy financing programs (PACE). Now he is transforming Demand Response with OhmConnect. Please join me as we discuss how Cisco and the OhmConnect team are deploying their technologies to help reduce power demands during peak periods.