The pilot will provide customers detailed energy usage information, enabled by advanced meters, which customers can access online, via cell phone apps, or through other technologies. In addition, National Grid reports it will test “the impact of new pricing structures that reflect the changing costs of electricity, including higher costs at peak usage times, such as hot summer days, and lower costs at other times. These pricing structures, coupled with the variety of pilot tools and technologies, will enable cost savings for individual customers and the electric system as a whole.”
Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan calls the pilot “an important next step in bringing the energy future closer to today. It is critical the utilities modernize the grid so outages happen less frequently and restoration can happen faster. And the fact that the program could lead to cost-savings for customers makes it a win-win.”
The Department of Public Utilities Chair Ann Berwick adds: “National Grid’s smart grid pilot is designed to answer significant questions about how the reliability of the electric grid can be improved in the face of storms and other challenges, and about how customers can control their energy costs. We look forward to pilot implementation, and to learning the lessons that will put us on a path to a completely modern electric infrastructure.”
Through the pilot program, National Grid aims to meet the goals of the Green Communities Act to reduce peak and total electricity consumption by at least five percent. Customers in the pilot area can opt out.