Newly released data from demand response program between National Grid and Copper Labs proves real-time usage data significantly increases grid reliability
BOULDER, Colo. (September 13, 2022) – Copper Labs, a technology provider that unlocks real-time grid-edge data for gas, water and electric utilities, is sharing results from a pilot program it ran with utility company National Grid which demonstrates the effectiveness of a natural gas demand response program that incorporates near real-time data.
In late January 2022, as the East Coast battened down the hatches to weather one of the worst blizzards to hit the region in years, National Grid tapped into Coper Labs’ real-time insights to manage energy use- and keep the heat on during the peak of the storm.
Copper Labs’ patented technology was able to collect usage data directly from existing AMR gas meters without extensive infrastructure upgrades. As the winter storm approached, National Grid observed customer loads and sent residents targeted messages on their smartphones encouraging them to modify their behavior, e.g., turning their heat down a few degrees or postponing a hot shower until after peak demand.
As a result, there was an 18% reduction in natural gas usage during the peak demand window from the customers who received the messages compared to those in the control group who did not. The gas savings allowed National Grid to manage demand and efficiently serve its customers ensuring no system disruptions.
“Unlocking near real-time usage data for our gas consumers has created new opportunities to reduce peak demand when it matters most to our gas distribution system,” said Jon Rei, Director, Distributed Energy Resources at National Grid. “With Copper Labs’ innovative technology, we have a new channel to engage targeted consumers with actionable insights that help them reduce energy costs.”
Additionally, Copper Labs showed that its high-interval data could identify inefficient HVAC units when comparing homes in similar weather conditions based on gas consumption. These valuable insights are critical for utilities planning future energy efficiency upgrade programs.
“Data is truly the central pillar to the energy transition,” said Dan Forman, CEO of Copper Labs. “While there are other ways to help manage gas loads like weatherization, high-efficiency equipment, home energy reports, and smart thermostats, real-time usage information is far and away the most effective tool, and the results from this demand response program drive that home.