Cleco Power LLC is conducting a study of demand response techniques using smart meters and in-home smart thermostats that can help control load during peak periods. Cleco this summer installed 450 SmartPoint-enabled Sensus iCon electricity meters that allow two-way communication between Cleco and the consumer in Cleco's Eastern District north of New Orleans, Louisiana. Over 100 Cleco customers in St. Tammany Parish participating in the demand response study also have a smart thermostat installed in their home. The smart thermostat receives signals from Cleco notifying the customer of Time of Use pricing (TOU) including an alert when Critical Peak (CPP) pricing is in effect. The purpose of the test is to measure sensitivities in the Cleco grid during peak times to various demand response programs. Consumers benefit from demand response advancements designed to insulate them from higher pricing due to peak loads.
Cleco's program will run through September of 2009 and the company plans to present their findings to the Louisiana Public Service Commission by the end of 2009.