Commercial Accounts Achieved Significant Demand Reduction with Accelerated Innovations’ MyMeter Portal

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As part of a Wisconsin Focus on Energy pilot program in partnership with Madison Gas and Electric, Franklin Energy, and EnerNex, Accelerated Innovations (AI) provided tools for commercial customers to lower summer peak demand and achieve energy savings.

Aiming to help commercial and industrial customers better manage and understand their on-peak summertime electricity demand, Madison, Wisconsin-based utility, Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), launched the On Demand Savings (ODS) pilot program in June 2015. Recently published program findings document the significant energy and demand savings realized by participating commercial customers.

The program, funded as part of the statewide Wisconsin Focus on Energy program and spearheaded by Franklin Energy, focused on providing MGE’s customers with tools to set demand savings goals, monitor load in real time, and assist in the development of both automated and manual load-shedding strategies to lower peak demand and respond to alert notifications with effective load shedding actions.

With the assistance of the MGE utility account managers, the program team enrolled more than three dozen customers comprising a wide range of businesses, from large hotels with significant banquet space, to casinos to healthcare facilities to general office space.

Providing real-time alerts required the team to deploy new on-site monitoring infrastructure, including gateway devices wired to a KYZ pulse output signal from the utility meter in order to transmit interval data from the customer location to AI’s cloud-based MyMeter portal web server. Through MyMeter, customers were able to monitor and analyze current and historical meter interval data. MyMeter’s charting and data views made it easy to pinpoint periods of high demand, identify operating trends, and track changes in demand usage over time. Customers could overlay present usage with that of historical demand over the previous two years, making it possible to anticipate future spikes and visualize how weather affects building energy use and performance.

The system also provides email and text alerts triggered by defined demand thresholds, giving facility engineers and managers a signal to initiate interventions – such as cycling air handling equipment or adjusting chiller plant set points – necessary to maintain defined demand savings goals. Peak load management was enabled as an ongoing process, putting the customer and their actions in control of the demand reduction activities. Each customer was able to identify and implement effective strategies that were specific to their building’s load profile and existing automation and controls.

Following the conclusion of the pilot program in December, 2016, analyses performed showed that the pilot program delivered significant, measurable demand reduction. On average, customers realized a 9% demand (kW) reduction during summer on-peak periods. The evaluation study also found an average consumption (kWh) savings of around 4.5%.

Furthermore, the program’s process evaluation study showed a positive impact on customer satisfaction and awareness around managing their electric load. All respondents stated that the program had provided a better understanding of strategies to reduce peak demand. All respondents also shared a positive opinion of MGE, with four in ten stating that the relationship has strengthened or improved as a result of their participation in the pilot.

“We feel fortunate to be able to support the customers and team in Madison with new tools to monitor facility energy use in real time, as well as a means to document and be alerted to actions that have translated to lower demand and reduced operating costs,” notes Mark Brown, Chief Operating Officer at Accelerated Innovations.

About AI
Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, AI is the team behind the MyMeter energy engagement platform. MyMeter is bridge leveraging utility smart metering infrastructure that gives businesses and home owners greater control over their energy use. AI's utility partners realize verified energy savings and improved customer care through greater opportunities to engage, communicate, and empower customers with tools for energy use feedback, alerts, analytics and prepaid billing.

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Ed Houn
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