Green Mountain Power (GMP), Efficiency Vermont (EVT) and Vermont Dynamic Organics (DO), a Vermont software company, this summer announced a new pilot program designed to help business customers reduce their costs while increasing Vermont’s grid flexibility, reliability, and efficiency. The Flexible Load Management (FLM) pilot program offers financial incentives and direct technical expertise to larger commercial and industrial customers to help them shift their electrical use to reduce peak demand times on the grid, when power is typically most expensive and often dirtiest. In addition to directly helping business customers lower costs, the FLM pilot program will also lower costs for all other GMP customers, by reducing usage during peak demand times.
“Launching this program will help further empower businesses to reduce costs, which in turn makes for a more flexible grid that helps all GMP customers and the state. We are leveraging innovation to find new ways to help our customers optimize their energy use, reduce costs and carbon emissions. Expanding on programs like Flexible Load Management can help smooth peak demand times and are a key part of a more resilient, flexible and renewable energy future,” said Mari McClure, GMP’s president and CEO.
This new program builds on the success of an earlier, nationally recognized load management program with Efficiency Vermont, GMP and Dynamic Organics. FLM increases the financial incentives and technical expertise for commercial and industrial customers, to create custom solutions to help large power users shift significant electrical load to times of the day that benefit all GMP customers. It is estimated that program participants could save about $9,000 per year.
“When it comes to lowering energy costs and reducing carbon emissions, ‘when’ we use electricity can be just as important as ‘how much’ electricity we use,” said Carol Weston, director of Efficiency Vermont.
Businesses and organizations that participated in the first FLM pilot program are excited to continue the partnership with the new program. Cersosimo Lumber in Brattleboro is on-board to learn more about this new FLM program.
“The information provided by our enrollment in the first GMP FLM program is valuable as it helped us track and manage the timing and usage of our power requirements”, said Madeline Arms of Cersosimo Lumber Company, which employs 220 people and produces hard and soft wood lumber used in everything from windows and trim, to furniture construction. “The equipment that was installed to monitor our usage gave us pertinent information on shifting/timing our power consumption for our kiln drying facility. This enabled us to dry our wood more efficiently, save money and helped us to better calculate final cost/price for the product. In short, continuing to find efficiencies of this sort is essential to our business growth and longevity.”
Up to 50 businesses can join this new pilot program, which will also help to determine if flexible load management – moving energy use to targeted times of the day based on a variety of factors – can help respond to and smooth out impacts on the grid of increasing solar energy generation projects and help avoid costly system upgrades.
A key part of the FLM pilot program is software developed by Dynamic Organics, which provides a crucial communications connection between GMP and the FLM program’s participating businesses, so their operations can respond quickly and accurately to signals from the grid.
Morgan Casella, of Dynamic Organics adds, “This work builds on our continued collaboration with GMP and EVT and the successful results of the first FLM pilot. The DO software platform leverages existing communications and controls systems in the commercial and industrial customer facilities in order to automate flexible demand responses, helping to reduce peak grid periods, increase intermittent renewable generation utilization, and save customers money. The FLM platform helps connect customers and GMP, enabling grid-interactive efficient buildings and evolved demand-side management practices,” he said.
The FLM program is the latest Business Innovation program from GMP, which partners with Vermont businesses and Efficiency Vermont to help customers save while transforming how they use energy and reduce carbon emissions. GMP offers incentives for EVs, EV charging infrastructure, heating and cooling systems and custom projects that leverage GMP’s clean energy supply to empower customers to enhance their business operations.
Customers interested in joining the FLM pilot program can email [email protected] to learn more. Businesses that will qualify are typically larger commercial or industrial customers with building management systems for ventilation, heating and cooling.