More utilities are rolling out Time of Use (TOU) rates to encourage customers to shift energy use to off-peak hours. But remembering which hours are peak and which are off-peak can be incredibly confusing for customers who are used to paying a flat rate. And some customers may see unplanned spikes in bills after switching to a new TOU rate.
Alabama Power Company (APC) wanted to give customers some extra help with technology in optimizing their TOU rates. APC launched the Alabama Power Smart Advantage ProgramTM in 2020 to provide smart thermostats that pre-cooled and pre-heated homes during non-peak times in the summer and winter months.
Customers get a free Emerson Sensi thermostat and a $50 gift card when they enroll in the program. The program, powered by Uplight’s Orchestrated Energy, learns the customer’s comfort bands, with the goal to keep each house within this range.
During the 2021 summer, Smart Advantage customers achieved between 9% to 14% peak load shift on average across the six-hour peak window, much higher than the 1-2% of average load shift in standard TOU programs.
APC has shown that the most effective DR programs prioritize customer comfort and help customers save money while enabling utilities to achieve the highest load shift possible.
Download the full case study here.