Energy Efficiency & Demand Response
Today, the efficient use of energy goes beyond turning the lights off, changing light bulbs or turning down the thermostat. We view energy efficiency as a readily deployable, relatively low-cost and clean energy resource that provides many benefits to customers and the environment.
Energy efficiency reduces consumption by incorporating energy efficiency improvements in customers’ homes and businesses; the trade-off is the up-front investment in building, appliance and/or equipment modification in upgrading or switching to new technology. Beyond changing human behaviors, we are also deploying smart technologies such as Volt VAR to improve efficiency on the distribution grid. And we are exploring new ways to manage load on the distribution system that are more efficient, can delay the need for new generation sources and provide incentives to customers. We are currently piloting new customer programs to test new technologies.
Residential customers of AEP Ohio who have smart meters can participate in a home energy management program that allows them to manage their energy use in real-time. Through the It’s Your Power ℠ program, customers can download an app that allows them to automate and control smart devices as well as receive minute-by-minute updates on the energy their home is using. Other benefits of the program include the ability to remotely adjust their thermostat, set a budget goal for electricity usage and pay their bill online.
In January 2018, AEP Ohio launched a new online energy efficiency marketplace, a one-stop shop for its customers to save energy, money and time. The AEP Ohio Energy Efficiency Marketplace analyzes data on more than 50,000 energy-efficient products, such as appliances, televisions, smart thermostats and water heaters. Customers can go online and find prices, consumer ratings, energy efficiency ratings and product details in one convenient spot to help them find the most efficient products at the lowest prices.
IM Home, Indiana Michigan Power Company’s innovative home energy management program allows customers to use a mobile app and Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat to control their energy use at any time. The program can automatically pick the best time to cool the home, using the least amount of energy, according to the customer’s comfort preferences. The smart thermostat program gives customers year-round energy savings.
IM Home began in Indiana in May 2017 and has been expanded to Michigan customers. As we analyze results from these initiatives, we are taking a hard look at the long-term viability of the different technologies that are in the market today, many of which are not yet proven. While technology is critical to our digital future, we have a responsibility to invest in the right technologies that support the grid and serve customers’ needs. However, we recognize there are risks associated with these investments, and we manage them carefully. To create the future we envision and that enables the highest customer value, risk and reward go hand-in-hand.