Gregory J. Dukat, Chairman, President & CEODemand response, energy efficiency, and customer engagement are pivotal in helping electric utilities with ensuring grid reliability, lowering energy costs, meeting regulatory demands, and enhancing the customer experience. With electric utilities looking to reduce programs costs and increase customer engagement, there is a growing need for software that can deliver a demand response program that also has integrated energy efficiency and customer engagement capabilities. By managing their demand management initiatives on one platform, utilities can take a coordinated approach to programs that results in increased customer participation, engagement, and satisfaction.
Making it possible is cloud-based software called IntelliSOURCE, which automates and gives energy utilities a single operational view into all of their demand response and energy efficiency programs. As a demand response management system (DRMS), IntelliSOURCE includes a full set of capabilities for successful deployment of a demand response program. The platform also includes a robust customer engagement portal. “IntelliSOURCE equips the residential energy consumer with a full set of mobile custom¬er engagement solutions, such as remote thermostat management and consumer specific energy insights and tips, to conveniently reduce household energy consumption with the tap of a button,” affirms Gregory J. Dukat, Chairman, President and CEO.
Comverge’s two-way communicating hardware products, known as DirectLink, include IntelliTEMP smart thermostats and IntelliPEAK load control switches that make use of broadband communications, increasing the precision and speed of demand response programs and driving greater customer engagement. IntelliTEMP includes a modular Wi-Fi radio to deliver two-way communications between a utility and end user. “The use of IP-based communications provides near real-time presence, feedback, and constant telemetry of our devices to give a clear view of currently available load,” says Dukat. The devices use either cellular networks or the consumer's broadband, removing the need for an expensive and complex gateway. This results in an extremely cost-effective implementation of demand response programs.
Another important concern facing energy utility providers is cyber security.
Two-way communication is the critical prerequisite to the optimization of demand response, with greater quality, predictability, and scalability than ever before
In order to protect the nation’s power supply and customers’ data, Comverge’s utility technology solutions are built from the ground up with cyber security safeguards.The premier firm provides multiple, redundant layers of security for energy utilities covering the product applications, frameworks, infrastructure, and communications.
“Two-way communication is the critical prerequisite to the optimization of demand response, with greater quality, predictability, and scalability than ever before,” affirms Dukat. For instance, U.S. investor-owned electric utility firm Gulf Power has partnered with Comverge to help advance the country's most innovative residential price-based demand response program which helps to substantially lower peak energy demand. Gulf Power in collaboration with Comverge offers a time-of-use and critical-peak pricing program that enables participants to access a web-based portal to program their central cooling and heating systems at home or on the go. The program helps thousands of participants save up to 15% on their energy bills each year.
In 2016, Comverge will focus on delivering solutions to help utilities deploy successful BYOD, behavioral energy efficiency (EE), and targeted demand management programs. “Expanding BYOD enablement to empower utilities to harness the growing base of third-party thermostats installed in consumers’ homes for demand management is a high priority on Comverge’s roadmap going forward,” says Dukat. The company’s behavioral EE solution utilizes multiple data streams and analytics to deliver relevant, personal, and actionable energy efficiency insights and tips to consumers. The Comverge targeted demand management solution enables electric utilities to use demand response and other distributed energy resources to solve problems traditionally handled by new investments in transmission, distribution, or local generation infrastructure.