As extreme heat put electrical infrastructure to the test across North America again this summer, utilities and their customers showed they can step up and support grid reliability when it matters most. Households and businesses across the continent worked with EnergyHub client utilities to manage 1.3 GW of flexibility from 900,000+ devices, reducing grid load at critical times.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this summer was the third warmest on record. Against this backdrop, customers of our 60+ utility clients participated in distributed energy resource (DER) programs to keep the lights on, the A/C working, and accelerate the decarbonization of our power system - all without the need for expensive infrastructure investment.
Utility customers deliver grid reliability from coast to coast
EnergyHub utility clients called 1,376 events this summer, shifting 8.5 GWh out of peak times, continuing to prove that DER programs play an essential role in delivering a reliable, resilient grid.
Utilities calling those nearly 1,400 events have seen average load shed increase steadily as they’ve built their customer-centric programs, making DER programs a valuable part of the resource stack. This summer alone,
- Sixteen clients called events over 10 MW,
- Six clients called events over 50 MW, and
- One client - Salt River Project - called multiple 130+ MW events.
Erika Diamond, Head of Customer Solutions at EnergyHub, emphasized the importance of flexible load in utility resource planning, saying: “I’m proud of our work with our 60+ utility clients to manage more than 900,000 devices and deliver 1.3 GW of flexible load. This massive resource supports utility resilience and decarbonization goals while customers simultaneously benefit from financial incentives and increased service reliability.”
Keeping the lights on across the West
Take the case of California and the Western states. From August 29th to September 7th, the entire Western electrical grid faced continuous stress due to record-setting heat. After days of exceptionally high demand for electricity, California issued a state-wide emergency SMS alert, asking consumers to prevent blackouts by conserving energy.
During this period, 202,000 customers in EnergyHub programs swung into action in California and across the West, participating in 40 events without the need for emergency text alerts. Hassan Motallebi, Demand Response Program manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) commented:
“Extreme heat put California’s grid under significant stress this summer, but our customers showed up when it mattered most. Their participation in our customer-centric thermostat demand response program, powered by EnergyHub, allowed us to shift demand off-peak and provide uninterrupted service across LADWP’s service territory.”
EnergyHub utility customers in the Western US shed more than 1 GWh of energy during this period, including an impressive 132 MW from two of the events called.EVs showing early promise
Results from EnergyHub’s 14 utility EV programs show the promise of EVs as a flexible resource and delivered learnings that will help scale programs.
This summer, EnergyHub’s time of use and off-peak incentive programs were able to shift 80 to 90 percent of charging off-peak. DR programs were able to deliver one to two kW load shed for EVs that were plugged in and charging during demand response events. But customer charging behavior tends toward evening, reducing the impact of EVs as an afternoon peak resource.
Participants in EnergyHub EV programs consistently provide top marks for satisfaction, evidenced by a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 68 in 2022. We look forward to continuing to innovate in the EV space to deliver value for drivers, utilities, and manufacturers.
Win-win for utilities and customers
These grid benefits are possible because of our customer-centric approach. EnergyHub drives device sales and enrollment with its well-honed acquisition marketing playbook- and then keeps customers engaged with industry-leading customer support.
Our clients and marketplace partners have sold over 100,000 devices since we launched our marketplace API, and once customers join an EnergyHub program, we exceed their expectations. EnergyHub’s scale allows testing of innovative program design, like precool, which has proven to keep customers comfortable and engaged while delivering on utility objectives. Our customer support team boasts an NPS of 87.
A focus on innovative product design
EnergyHub’s product team delivered multiple enhancements this year that allow clients to further scale their DER programs. Highlights include:
- Expanded partner ecosystem: Added seven new device partners across multiple categories including thermostats, electric vehicles, and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)
- Upgraded resource formation: New features like thermostat electric heat validation for winter programs, multi-program enrollment, and expanded marketplace pre-enrollment deliver an improved customer enrollment experience and grow the number of eligible devices
- Enhanced residential and commercial grid-edge services: Improved integrations to Nest and ecobee enable faster, more accurate data. Nest integration also allows for customized control over event parameters. An upgraded commercial and industrial solution includes aggregator management, enrollment and dispatch messaging, and a new integration approach using Mercury Edge Connect
- Launched EnergyHub EV: We released the next evolution of our EV solution. Our EV Data Management System (EVDMS) generates insights from consolidated EV and EVSE partner platforms. Optimized charging delivers grid flexibility including demand response, load-shift, network management, and soon, V2G
Fixed on future flexibility
We’re proud of what our utility clients and their customers have accomplished so far, but we’ve only begun to tap into the potential benefits of distributed energy resource management at scale.
In order to meet the goals of the Inflation Reduction Act and achieve 100% renewable energy by 2035, the United States needs to decarbonize between one and two TW (terawatts) of power generation by the middle of the next decade. It’s an enormous undertaking, and it can only be achieved if 500 GW of load flexibility enables grid operators to adjust energy demand to the variable nature of renewable energy sources.
While the challenge is immense, we have the tools we need to deliver flexible, customer-centric resources on the scale that the climate crisis demands. EnergyHub is 100 percent committed to partnering with our utility clients and their customers to deliver a carbon-free, distributed energy future.