GMP working to save money with Internet-ready appliances

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GMP working to save money with Internet-ready appliances

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 10:31am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power is partnering with a Kentucky firm to lower power costs for appliances plugged into the Internet. GMP anticipates that customers will save money, reduce carbon emissions, and use more renewables. GMP will use Virtual Peaker Inc’s proprietary software to work with customers to share access to Internet-based appliances and devices. GMP can change those devices into energy-saving modes, which will reduce grid demand and lower costs for all customers. GMP’s goal is to have over 1,000 devices engaged over 18 months.

GMP said in a statement that it used the Virtual Peaker platform first as a small pilot project over six months, and after "great results" the project has moved to the next phase.

William Burke, CEO and founder of Louisville-based Virtual Peaker, and a GMP Inspire Space contest winner, said this first-of-its kind program involves Internet-of-things devices including: water heaters, residential battery systems, smart thermostats and mini-split heat pumps.

“This project demonstrates the viability of using customer devices to help balance the grid in a dynamic way,” he said. “This is an important step toward ushering in a more rapid expansion of renewable energy, and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.” 

“As an energy transformation company, GMP is focused on leveraging the latest in technology to lower costs for customers and make the system more reliable,” said Josh Castonguay, GMP’s Chief Innovative Executive. “We are thrilled to partner with Virtual Peaker, one of the winners of our Inspire Space contest, to deliver real world solutions to directly benefit all customers.”

Burke said the only other domestic utility undertaking a similar effort is the Glasgow Electric Plant Board, in Glasgow, Ky. That effort is also via a partnership with Virtual Peaker.

“The goal of our company is to make the energy consumption of houses as controllable and reliable as gas-fired power plants, and we are pleased to find another utility ready to innovate with us,” he said. 

About Virtual Peaker: Virtual Peaker is a Louisville, KY based company that applies real-time control to internet-enabled appliances to reduce demand on the energy grid, and help utilities deliver power more efficiently. The platform is accessed through a web browser, and has portals for utility and residential users. William Burke is the CEO and he has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Controls and Artificial Intelligence. He has 10 years of experience with high-performance residential energy management and connected appliances, and he previously worked at General Electric in the Connected Home Software Group. More information at: Connect with Virtual Peaker on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @VirtualPeaker.

About Green Mountain Power: Green Mountain Power serves approximately 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with customers to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. In 2014, Vote Solar named GMP a Solar Champion. More information at: Connect with GMP on Facebook and follow us on Twitter@GreenMtnPower.

Source: GMP 12.15.2016