SRP launches smart thermostat pilot to manage peak demand
- One of the largest publicly-owned utilities in the country is rolling out a new Bring Your Own Thermostat (BYOT) program aimed at helping to manage peak demand on the system.
- Community-based non-profit utility Salt River Project serves more than 1 million customers in the Phoenix area. An EnergyHub distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) will manage the program, including customer enrollment and demand response dispatch.
- While air conditioner-based demand response has been around for years, utility programs that allow customers to select their own connected devices are helping grow the offerings. Navigant Research forecasts that BYOT programs will enroll six million customers by 2024.
BYOT programs are growing in popularity, combining customer interest in smart thermostats with new technologies that allow utilities to manage devices made by multiple manufacturers. SRP's rollout of a bring-your-own pilot illustrates how even large utilities are still assessing their options to manage peak demand.
The program will help the utility "better manage its emerging grid needs while providing customers with plenty of options when it comes to selecting their connected thermostat," SRP Manager of Customer Program innovation Duane Pearson, said in a statement.
Pearson added that EnergyHub's platform was selected for its ability to "handle a wide variety of smart thermostats and other connected devices."
The market for BYOT programs is expected to grow rapidly, particularly as the Internet of Things model of connected devices spreads.
In 2016, Navigant estimated there were roughly 50,000 customers in BYOT demand response programs around the country making for an estimated $12.5 million market.
Utility smart thermostat offerings, including BYOT and other installation models, by September 2017 had led to more than two million smart thermostat installations. Navigant forecasts that such programs will enroll six million customers by 2024 and ultimately reach up to 20 million customers, representing a $3 billion market.
EnergyHub says its DERMS is currently used by more than 30 utilities in the United States. In December, the company announced it had completed the first season of a demand response program with two Avangrid utilities, New York State Electric and Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric.
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