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Jeff Quigley
May 08, 2020

Connecting Homes—and Customers

We’re helping utilities connect with their residential customers by making it easy for them to connect their smart appliances and devices.


Last month, the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) launched its “Connected Homes” program utilizing Virtual Peaker software technology to better manage electric loads, reduce costs and rates, and lower carbon footprints. MMWEC is a nonprofit public energy partner that provides services to municipal light plant (MLP) members across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


The formula is straightforward, and it’s one we’ve helped implement in utilities throughout New England and across the country.


In exchange for a rebate check or bill credit, customers of participating MLPs agree to brief, limited adjustments like temporarily reducing EV charging rates during peak hours. So, they get to save money and feel good about participating in a program that reduces their impact on the environment. Potential smart devices that can be enrolled include home batteries, electric vehicle chargers, electric hot water heaters, and mini-split controllers.


At Virtual Peaker, we applaud MMWEC and other energy partners that are leveraging the explosive growth of connected homes. According to Statista, there are about 31 billion smart devices connected to the internet this year. But by 2025, that number is expected to more than double, accelerating to an estimated 75.4 billion devices.


And the astounding growth of residential energy storage plays a large role in making all this possible. Between 2014 and 2018, annual installations of residential systems in the U.S. jumped from 2.25 MWh to 185 MWh—more than an 80-fold increase—and for the first time exceeded utility-scale storage installations. According to a March 2019 report from consulting firm McKinsey & Company, there are a host of reasons for the surge in residential energy storage: falling costs, increasing weather-related disruption risks, TOU utility rate structures, integrated solar-plus-storage, purchase incentives, and grid-services payments.


Congratulations to MMWEC on the new Connected Homes program, and please contact us if you want to find out more about setting up your own customized program.


Read the MMWEC press release here.

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