Case Study: The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Today, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District is the nation's sixth largest community-owned electric utility in terms of customers served.
SMUD generates, transmits and distributes electricity and energy services in the California state-capitol region. In keeping with its original goals, SMUD continues to provide stable electric rates and a reliable electric system through a variety of forward-thinking customer offerings.
The Problem: In the spring of 2001, when California electricity prices were soaring, and with the help of a grant from the California Energy Commission, SMUD developed a price-based electricity curtailment program for commercial and industrial customers. Marketed as PowerNet and PowerDirect, this comprehensive program offered customers the opportunity to receive compensation for load reduction when electricity prices were lower, or when SMUD needed to reduce electric load.
The Solution: Stonewater's energy1st services were selected to automate real-time control of lighting, HVAC systems and other equipment for the PowerDirect program. The Internet-based solution allowed SMUD to notify customers of near-term prices for a curtailment event, enabled customers to pledge hourly load reduction and automated customer load reduction when the customer agreed to participate. The PowerDirect software application was co-branded with SMUD's online identity and design, and was part of an integrated solution from Stonewater Control Systems®, ABB Energy Interactive® and Apogee Interactive® that provided SMUD's Internet-based load management program infrastructure.
The Results: When customers were notified of a curtailment opportunity, they logged on to the password-protected PowerDirect web site and viewed the session duration and hourly prices. They decided on participation and set hourly load reduction commitments. Once the customer pledged participation, SMUD was notified and the customer load reduction devices were scheduled.
When a curtailment session began, customer loads were automatically shut down, via the energy1st gateway. This eliminated the need for customers to manually turn off equipment, monitor load reduction time periods and ensured that curtailment efforts met the pledged reduction.
At the end of the session, load items were restored to normal operation. Customer pledges and curtailment activity were stored online for activity tracking and settlement reference.
The PowerDirect program is available year-round, 24 hours a day. It also offers customers the ability to manage and control loads via the Internet and energy1st gateway, even when SMUD is not calling for load curtailment.
This innovative program couples customer profit opportunity with guaranteed load reduction for SMUD. To learn more about SMUD's Power Direct Program, visit them on the Internet at www.smud.org.
The PowerDirect program offered customers the ability to manage and control loads via the internet and energy1st gateway, even when SMUD was not calling for load curtailment, thus combining customer profit opportunity with guaranteed load reduction for SMUD.