NYS Public Service Commission approves utilities’ demonstration programs

Published on February 12, 2019 by Dave Kovaleski

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New York State Public Service Commission approved demonstration programs from Consolidated Edison Company of New York’s (Con Edison) and Orange and Rockland Utilities’ (O&R) to encourage customers to use of smart devices to manage their energy usage.

The focus of this demonstration project is to gauge customer acceptance of innovative rate structures tied to the use of energy management tools and technology. These tools, or smart devices, are designed to help customers manage their usage. The concept is intended to advance ratemaking reform and encourage consumers to use distributed energy resources.

“This program will enhance and encourage the use of smart devices and residential solar by rewarding customers for their smart and efficient energy consumption,” Commission Chair John Rhodes said. “Empowering customers by providing them more choice in how they manage and use electricity is a central element of the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system.”

The commission had directed each of New York State’s six investor-owned utilities to develop demonstration proposals to support its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program, which seeks to build a cleaner and more affordable energy system. Con Edison and O&R have already filed their proposal, while National Grid, Central Hudson, Rochester Gas and Electric, and New York State Electric and Gas have proposals in development.

Some participants in the demonstration program will be given automation technology to optimize their central-air-conditioning loads. Others will receive storage systems to optimize their overall usage, taking into account the output of their existing rooftop photovoltaic systems. The first group will receive a price guarantee for the first 12 months of participation, while the second group will be able to keep the storage system at the end of the project.

About 2,350 participants are expected to enroll in the demonstration project program, which will begin in October.