RALEIGH, NC - October 28, 2008
Cleco Power LLC is conducting a study of Demand Response techniques utilizing smart meters and in-home smart thermostats that can help control load during peak periods. 450 SmartPoint enabled Sensus iCon electricity meters that allow two-way communication between Cleco and the consumer were installed this summer in Cleco’s Eastern District north of New Orleans, Louisiana. Over 100 Cleco customers in St. Tammany Parish participating in the Demand Response study also have a smart thermostat installed in their home. The smart thermostat receives signals from Cleco notifying the customer of Time of Use pricing (TOU) including an alert when Critical Peak (CPP) pricing is in effect. The purpose of the test is to measure sensitivities in the Cleco grid during peak times to various demand response programs. Consumers benefit from Demand Response advancements designed to insulate them from higher pricing due to peak loads.
“Cleco is interested in finding out if consumers will change their electricity usage patterns in response to TOU pricing. The Sensus Smartpoint technology is enabling us to communicate price signals to our customers’ thermostats and to gather data about how their electricity usage changes based on the price signals.” said Dean Sikes, one of Cleco’s project managers for the pilot project.
Cleco’s program will run through September of 2009 and the company plans to present their findings to the Louisiana Public Service Commission by the end of 2009.
Demand Response refers to actions by electricity consumers that change their consumption (demand) of electric power in response to price signals, incentives, or directions from electricity grid operators. The US Department of Energy defines Demand Response as “Changes in electric usage by end-use customers from their normal consumption patterns in response to changes in the price of electricity over time, or to incentive payments designed to induce lower electricity use at times of high wholesale market prices or when system reliability is jeopardized.”
“The Sensus FlexNet AMI solution and the iCon smart meter include all the capabilities required for a thorough test of demand response.” said Marc Reed, Director of Communications Engineering at Sensus.
FlexNet is the utility industry’s most powerful AMI solution that provides customers with the technology to achieve unmatched results in range, redundancy, resiliency, recovery and reliability. Only FlexNet has primary-use, FCC licensed spectrum, supplying uncluttered transmissions for water, gas and electric utilities in both rural and urban areas, regardless of terrain. FlexNet fits seamlessly into a utility’s operational and customer service strategic plan, enabling communication with a complete range of endpoint devices. FlexNet technology reduces cost, mitigates technology risk, enables pricing flexibility and demand response, and improves operation and maintenance efficiency for forward-thinking utilities. The Sensus FlexNet solution helps utilities improve their customers experience, reduce their carbon footprint and protect their capital investment.
About Sensus Metering Systems
The Sensus Metering Systems companies are leading world-class providers of water, gas, heat and electric meters including comprehensive metering communications system solutions that comprise both automatic meter reading (“AMR”) and advanced metering infrastructure (“AMI”) systems. Additional linked businesses include Smith-Blair, Inc. a leading provider of pipe clamp & coupling products for the water, gas, and industrial markets; and Sensus Precision Die Casting a producer of complex, high quality die castings.
Cleco Corp. is a regional energy company headquartered in Pineville, La. It operates a regulated electric utility company that serves 273,000 customers across Louisiana. Cleco also operates a wholesale energy business with approximately 1,350 megawatts of nameplate generating capacity. For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com
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