The partnership comes courtesy of Virtual Peaker, a cloud-based SaaS company and distributed energy platform, along with Hoosier Energy, a Bloomington, Indiana-based generation and transmission electric cooperative that provides wholesale power and related services to distribution cooperatives across central and southern Indiana and southeastern Illinois.
The programme, Connect to Save, was made possible due to the collaboration between Hoosier Energy and three of its member co-ops, including Jackson County REMC (Brownstown, IN), South Central Indiana REMC (Martinsville, IN) and Southeastern Indiana REMC (Osgood, IN).
Connect To Save uses Virtual Peaker’s Shift, a Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) suite, to manage residential electric demand through machine learning and real-time control of internet-enabled appliances.
A voluntary management programme, Connect to Save aims to reduce electricity demand while minimising impact on homeowners.
Designed to shift power consumption to off-peak times of the day, the programme is hoped to help Hoosier Energy reduce demand while transitioning to cleaner and renewable energy sources.
Devices used in the programme include smart thermostats from Google Nest, ecobee and Honeywell Home, alongside EV chargers provided by Enel X and ChargePoint.
Shifting energy use
Shift connects in-home smart devices to run real-time residential demand response programmes that leverage distributed energy resources (DERs) to reduce cost and avoid peak times when energy is more expensive.
The first phase of the programme launched in June and allows Hoosier Energy to use the data collected by Virtual Peaker to measure its effectiveness. The company plans to recruit more of its member distribution cooperatives to participate.
“We look forward to working with Virtual Peaker to provide software and expertise to help our member co-ops reduce demand on the electric grid,” said Ryan Henderson, senior manager of Emerging Energy Resources at Hoosier Energy. “We take seriously our role as trusted energy providers, and this is another area where Hoosier Energy and its members will benefit from strategic collaboration.”
“The energy industry is constantly evolving, so Virtual Peaker is pleased to partner with Hoosier Energy to reduce demand on the electric grid while helping maintain member comfort at home,” added Colin Lamb, vice president, Client Success at Virtual Peaker.