Smart Grid Data Access Awards Will Demonstrate How Consumers and Communities Can Benefit from Better Energy Information 

The Department of Energy announced phase I awards totaling nearly $3.2 million that will encourage utilities, local governments, and communities to create programs that empower consumers to better manage their electricity use through improved access to their own electricity consumption data. These projects will complement the Apps for Energy prizes, also announced today, by demonstrating how convenient tools and services can help consumers make more informed decisions about their energy consumption and helping to stimulate the market for the development of additional innovative energy applications.

“We are entering a new era of energy management, one in which consumers have access to their own energy information at their fingertips and can make smart energy consumption decisions more easily,” said Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.  “The smart grid data access demonstrations supported by these awards encourage utilities to partner with third-party developers to provide consumers and communities with innovative solutions that serve up their energy data in an accessible, meaningful way.”   

The seven Smart Grid Data Access projects selected for phase I awards are listed below.  These investments will leverage additional investments from the recipients.  Final award amounts are subject to negotiation.  For phase II, the Department will select one recipient to apply the tools and software to an entire service territory, region or community.  

San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) – San Diego, CA
DOE share: $500,000; Recipient share:  $2.4 million
Building on the success of its Biggest Energy Saver program, SDG&E will use social game mechanics to enhance its SDG&E Peak Time Rebate program. Customers will earn points, prizes, and rewards for signing up, saving energy, and responding to Reduce Your Use days (peak events). 

National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) – Mandan, ND
DOE share: $464,000; Recipient share:  $464,000
NISC will provide electric, natural gas and water consumption information directly to customers via an online Smart Hub portal.

Pecan Street Inc. – Austin, Texas
DOE share: $500,000; Recipient share:  $629,000
Pecan Street Inc. and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) will create and begin operating a nonprofit consumer smart grid product testing center. 

Gulf of Maine Research Institute – Portland, Maine
DOE share: $331,000; Recipient share:  $331,000
Every 7th and 8th grade student in Maine is issued a laptop computer with Internet access as part of their educational experience. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute will leverage that program as a catalyst for residential customer decision making by giving 7th and 8th grade students access to their families’ electricity consumption data through “PowerHouse,”an interactive online learning environment. 

City of Dubuque, Iowa – Dubuque, Iowa
DOE share: $500,000; Recipient share:  $500,000
The City of Dubuque will implement a Smarter Energy Conservation Portal that gives residents access to their electricity consumption data and uses advanced analytics, dynamic visualization and activity-based engagement to help them better understand their consumption.

Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management, LLC – Newtown Square, PA
DOE share: $400,000; Recipient share:  $400,000
Beginning in October 2013, Navy military families will be responsible for their own energy consumption. Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management’s “Shift for Good” community program will leverage this transition to determine which customer engagement strategies will maximize Navy families’ savings.

State of Arizona – Phoenix, AZ
DOE share: $500,000; Recipient share:  $998,000
The State of Arizona will give consumers devices that allow them to receive their own electric consumption data at a minimum of 15-minute intervals.
To learn more about national efforts to ensure a reliable, secure, and resilient electric grid, visit the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability

News Media Contact: (202) 586-4940
For Immediate Release: May 22, 2012