Launched in August of 2017 by New York State to help implement the State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), REV Connect brings solutions providers and New York’s six investor-owned utilities together to accelerate innovation, develop new business models, and deliver value to all energy consumers. REV Connect makes this possible through online idea submissions that are shared with the utilities, expert feedback on ideas, time-bound innovation sprints, in-person events and webinars, and matchmaking solutions providers with utilities.
In less than a year, different types of solutions providers have seen success through REV Connect, furthering their work with utilities to target a diverse customer set. Here are a few examples.
Through REV Connect, Lime Energy is developing a partnership model where New York utilities can support a portfolio of performance-based energy efficiency measures for small business customers. As a provider of energy-efficient products and solutions, Lime Energy already had experience delivering more than 125,000 energy efficiency projects to small and mid-sized businesses. REV Connect made a difference by helping Lime Energy understand the IOUs’ vision for energy efficiency, enabling Lime Energy to enhance its utility value proposition and build awareness among utilities in a much more targeted way.
“Companies are put on a “fast-track” toward constructive dialogue with utility decision-makers and learn a lot about REV requirements during the process,” said a spokesperson for Lime Energy.
On the distributed energy resource (DER) front, several solutions providers have taken advantage of REV Connect to develop partnership revenue models with IOUs. For example, Tangent Energy Solutions is working with REV Connect to create a partnership model in which New York utilities can leverage market-based aggregation and control over a portfolio of DERs to deliver value to the grid and their commercial and industrial customers. Another DER company with a virtual battery solution, Packetized Energy, is working with REV Connect to deploy the virtual battery solution with no initial cost to customers, where the benefits from grid services can be shared between the utility, the utility customer, and the company.
A Packetized Energy spokesperson described the company’s full experience with the REV Connect process: “REV Connect helped refine our business model and facilitate connections with utilities. The REV Connect team provided initial feedback that helped to shape our approach to utilities. As a result, we’ve had significant conversations with multiple utilities, which have been instrumental in helping us to better understand their needs, and how Packetized Energy can offer the greatest value.”
What the successful experience of these companies has shown is that innovative ideas do move faster when all stakeholders are at the same table early in the process. Not only are the value propositions enhanced for all parties, but partnership business models emerge in real time.
RENEW It Now NY, another company that is working with REV Connect, specifically addressed this point: “the REV Connect facilitation process gave us an opportunity to propose a partnership model for utilities in alignment with REV.” Similarly, Tangent Energy Solutions commented that as a result of REV Connect, “we have been able to focus our resources on the more important priorities.”
This type of clarity is an ideal approach for any large-scale innovation effort, such as REV: by streamlining collaborative efforts early, resources can productively focus on addressing the most important implementation opportunities.