Residents and Businesses Can Earn Cash for Energy Saving Actions Through Innovative "GridRewards" Pilot Program
Sustainable Westchester, a nonprofit consortium of Westchester municipalities, has partnered with Logical Buildings to launch the first-of-its-kind GridRewards campaign.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200407005571/en/
GridRewards empowers eligible energy users in Westchester County to receive cash rewards from participating in Con Edison's demand response programs, while also digitally assisting participants to reduce their monthly energy bill and make an overall positive environmental impact through the reduction of their energy usage and carbon footprint.
GridRewards leverages new Con Edison smart meters as the data backbone for Logical Buildings' gamified mobile app SmartKit AI, which encourages thousands of Westchester homeowners to perform simple energy efficiency activities in unison. Using GridRewards, individuals across the county can collectively contribute to a more reliable grid and provide grid relief when energy usage is peaking.
GridRewards grants access to new energy savings opportunities for all Westchester residents and businesses, no matter how large or small. Homes, apartments, restaurants, retail centers, offices and other energy consumers are all invited to participate.
How Does "GridRewards" Work?
Participants can enroll online in minutes through the authorization and onboarding steps. Anyone with an eligible Con Edison account can be guided through the simple screens and digital prompts to learn more and sign up.
Logical Buildings leverages the Green Button initiative to automatically and securely connect smart meter data to its AI driven app, SmartKit AI. Once authorization and onboarding are complete, users can immediately download the SmartKit AI app to get customized energy efficiency insights to help them understand and reduce their energy usage and carbon footprint.
In addition to lowering their monthly energy bill, users can also earn money by taking simple, digitally guided actions to reduce energy usage when Con Edison triggers a demand response event. When energy use is peaking on the grid, Con Edison will pay you cash to help lower that peak and save on investing in additional infrastructure. By curbing your electric usage during high-demand periods, you'll help maintain electric system reliability in your community.
Simple Actions to Save Energy and Earn Cash
GridRewards provides a powerful incentive for energy saving actions by sharing demand response revenues with the energy users who performed them. When a household's energy saving action earns revenue, it is logged through SmartKit AI and paid out in the form of a check to the participant. Cash is distributed to participants before the end of the calendar year. While each participant is encouraged to reduce as much energy as possible during demand response events, there are no penalties for opting out of an event.
The ubiquity of smart thermostats makes performance easier than ever - raising cooling setpoints by four degrees for a handful of 1-6 hour periods in the summer can earn participants significant money - a payout of up to 15% of the total annual Con Edison electricity bill.
Beyond raising temperatures, additional activities could include dimming lights, avoiding electric hot water heating and shifting dishwashing and laundry activities to a later time of day. With zero investment in hardware or equipmentof any sort, customers can easily take these actions and watch their energy usage drop on the app, translating these behaviors into savings and payouts with real-time transparency.
"GridRewards is providing our largest opportunity yet to show how real-time intelligence and a widespread, gamified app to reduce energy use through that intelligence can create real income for the people who opted into the program," said Logical Buildings CEO Jeff Hendler. "Especially with many families potentially using more energy while working from home and facing greater financial uncertainty, this is an important new way of making sure more people can share in the benefits of smart energy usage."
Simple Actions Add up to Make a Real Impact
"Collective action to reduce energy usage during these peak times will have a major impact on the health and sustainability of the Westchester grid," said Dan Welsh, director of Sustainable Westchester's Westchester Power Program. "We're excited to partner with Logical Buildings and premiere this innovative technology to our members. SmartKit AI allows energy users to truly take control of their energy bill and significantly reduce their carbon footprint."
"We are pleased to be able to bring the pilot program to residents and during this period expect to work on enhancing the participant experience. Our work with Logical Buildings will help to continue to enhance the services of the SmartKit AI platform in advance of the broader roll-out in the Fall of this year," says Sustainable Westchester's GridRewards Program Director, Michel Delafontaine.
To date, many residential, commercial, and retail customers have already signed up for GridRewards, including the Westchester Hilton and AvalonBay Communities apartment complexes.
Coming at a Critical Time for Westchester
With its launch coinciding with Westchester's natural gas-constricted areas and robust New York State sustainability goals, GridRewards aims to reduce Westchester's peak energy usage by empowering energy users with the relevant information to make smart energy usage decisions. Electricity and natural gas are among the last products that most end-users consume without knowing how much they are using or the value of changing the time at which they use it. The GridRewards program is transformative, enabling a more intelligent energy consumer, while making energy efficiency fun and rewarding.
GridRewards complements Sustainable Westchester's current portfolio of energy solutions which includes the Westchester Power Program, the New York State model for Community Choice Aggregation, Community Solar for residents and municipalities and HeatSmart, efficient clean heating & cooling solutions for commercial and residential properties.
Ground Floor of an Energy Paradigm Shift in New York
The Logical Buildings SmartKit AI technology behind GridRewards is made possible through a secure software integration into Con Edison's new Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) in Westchester. The Westchester AMI rollout is part of Con Edison's ~$1.25 billion AMI initiative to upgrade all ~5.5 million electricity and natural gas meters in its service territory, the single largest infrastructure project in its history. The upgrade is under way with areas including Staten Island and Westchester nearly fully enabled.
AMI infrastructure has opened the door for customers of all sizes to participate in demand response programs who were previously only available to the biggest energy consumers in Con Edison's service territory. With the rollout of GridRewards, millions of customers have become eligible for demand response. Furthermore, on the back of the AMI rollout, Con Edison recently announced that the implementation of its new Demand Response Management System allowed the Company to lower its demand response participation threshold by 100x, from 1kW to 10W, effectively making it possible for anyone to earn money through the demand response programs.
Grid management will be a critical feature of an evolving clean energy grid and this program will be the first in which residents have a role in helping to make an impact.
About Sustainable Westchester
Sustainable Westchester's portfolio of energy solutions includes Westchester Power, the first in NYS Community Choice Aggregation program that provides 100% NYS hydropower and fixed electricity supply rates to its customers. Currently, Westchester Power is the default supplier in 27 County municipalities servicing nearly 1/3 of Westchester County households' customers. To date, the Westchester Power Program has made a significant environmental impact eliminating over 600,000 metric tons of C02. Community Solar and its precursor Solarize Westchester is responsible for driving renewable energy and solar adoption to thousands of Westchester residents and includes a municipal solar integration partnership with NYPA bringing solar benefits to municipalities across the County. HeatSmart an energy efficiency, clean heating and cooling solution provides options for home and commercial buildings through geothermal or air source heat pumps. HeatSmart provides a valuable solution for all Westchester residents and businesses and importantly for those in current gas constricted areas. On the forefront of innovation and always looking for and developing the next generation of solutions, Sustainable Westchester is working with NYSERDA in the development of direct supply and energy storage and is in development of a Sunshine to EV model for adoption in member municipalities. Sustainable Westchester understands that transportation is a critical component of the energy discussion and its Clean Transportation Project includes the facilitation of municipal fleet conversion and the infrastructure for charging stations. Included in its focus, Sustainable Westchester facilitates a zero waste initiative anchored by app technology for municipal recycling solutions (Recycle Right!). Other areas of focus include land use and complete streets.
For more information, contact Maria Genovesi, Director of Marketing, Communication & Outreach at (914) 242-4725 x104 or maria@SustainableWestchester.org or visit sustainablewestchester.org for general information.
About Logical Buildings