Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Electric Co-op (VEC) is seeking members in several towns in and around Chittenden County to help test a cutting-edge energy management technology that’s designed to make the electric grid cleaner, cheaper, and easier to run. Under the pilot, technicians would install a device – developed by Vermont start-up Packetized Energy – on members’ water heaters that would tell the water heater to heat water when electricity is plentiful and to avoid times when it’s scarce. The technology, contained in a device a little bigger than a soda can, does not change the supply or availability of hot water to VEC members.
VEC members in the towns of Hinesburg, Huntington, Richmond, St George, Starksboro, and Williston may be eligible to volunteer to participate in the pilot program. Participants will receive bill credits and be entered into two raffles for a $500 cash prize.
“This device effectively is a brain for your water heater, giving it the knowledge to pull electricity from the grid at optimal times,” said Christine Hallquist, VEC’s chief executive officer. “This means the devices – deployed broadly – could help match supply and demand, allowing the grid take on more wind and solar energy,” she said.
Hallquist noted that participants will be able to override the device at any time, if necessary, through a digital app. Individual customer data will be protected.
“One of our greatest challenges as a society is how we move away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy sources,” said Hallquist. “It’s an exciting time – and being part of this project is another way VEC members can be a part of the transformation of our electric system.”
According to Paul Hines, a co-founder of Packetized Energy, “Participating in this pilot project will help VEC’s members to save money through the electricity bill credit, and will pave the way for new technology that makes electricity more reliable and affordable with large amounts of renewable energy.”
About Vermont Electric Cooperative
Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC), established in 1938, is a non-profit, member-owned electric distribution utility that provides safe, affordable, and reliable electric service to approximately 32,000 members in 75 communities in northern Vermont. Nationally recognized for innovative and advanced use of technology, VEC is the largest locally-owned electric distribution utility in Vermont. www.vermontelectric.coop
About Packetized Energy
Packetized Energy is a Vermont-based company that provides solutions that will enable more renewable energy to be integrated into the electric grid. Their patent-pending approach matches customer demand to available grid supply in a way that ensures customer quality of service and anonymity. www.packetized.energy
Source: Johnson. VEC 1.31.2018