T&D World Magazine

Silver Spring Networks Delivers Consumer Empowerment Solutions

Silver Spring Networks has announced the availability of several new consumer empowerment solutions, including software, services and integrated partner devices. These offerings enable utilities to better manage energy demand and dramatically increase their customers’ awareness of their energy use, which in turn, helps them make wiser decisions about energy consumption.

“Consumer adoption of the Smart Grid is critical to the operation of our nation’s power system,” said Judy Lin, Chief Product Officer at Silver Spring Networks. “In the coming years, communicating devices, smart appliances and electric vehicles will create a significant impact on the power grid. This integrated solution enables utilities to engage customers in demand-management programs and give consumers actionable information to better manage their energy use. In the end, consumer empowerment enables a more efficient, reliable energy system.”

Improving customer awareness, connectivity, and choice translates into real savings, for both consumers and utilities. Studies have demonstrated that, when provided with real-time pricing information and incentives, consumers will reduce their energy consumption. For example, according to one study, consumers who participated in dynamic pricing programs decreased their peak energy consumption by as much as 20%. In addition, when consumers also used programmable communicating thermostats and air conditioning cycling switches, their peak energy consumption decreased by as much as 44%.

The savings can be substantial for utilities as well. Studies from The Brattle Group and FERC estimate that utilities can reduce capital infrastructure expenditures by $50-100 billion, eliminate the need to build approximately 80-100 traditional power plants and integrate about 100 GigaWatts of renewable generation.

The Silver Spring solutions include:

  • CustomerIQ Web Portal: Customer-facing web portal (formerly known as Greenbox) that relays usage and pricing information to consumers and allows them to take control over their energy consumption. The simple, engaging interface helps consumers understand, track, and manage energy use.
  • UtilityIQ Demand Response Software: Utility-facing software that is part of the Silver Spring UtilityIQ application suite that enables utilities to communicate with in-home devices to send pricing alerts, load control requests, and other energy-saving information to their customers.
  • Electric Vehicle Management Solution: Utility-facing software and third-party charging stations equipped with Silver Spring communications that enable utilities to influence charging of electric vehicles (EVs). Two-way communications and real-time data are essential for utilities to understand where EVs are charging in their service territory, adjust charging schedules and protect valuable grid infrastructure. By choosing to participate in utility EV programs, consumers can lower the cost of charging their cars.
  • Silver Spring-integrated In-home Devices: With our standards-based Smart Energy Platform, we support a wide range of Smart Energy Profile devices and enable partners to seamlessly integrate their hardware, software, and services into the Silver Spring demand management software. Products that have been tested, integrated and are available today include in-home devices and related services from ClipperCreek, Digi, Energate, LS Research, Mad Dash, and Tendril. With Silver Spring’s commitment to standards and interoperability, this list is expected to grow.
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