Advancing Smart Technologies to Help Manage the Grid
Data from the first season of MGE Connect will help MGE better understand the potential for managing the grid with the assistance of smart devices.
Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), our regulated utility subsidiary, launched its new MGE Connect™ smart thermostat program in summer 2019 to help customers save energy and to help MGE better understand the role and impact of using smart devices to help manage our community electric grid.
The two-year demand response pilot program allows MGE to remotely adjust the smart thermostats of participating residential customers from June through September. During hot and humid days, when energy use is higher than normal, MGE may call an "event" with temperature increases to household thermostats of two to four degrees lasting no more than four hours. Participants can change temperature settings or opt out of events at any time.
"MGE Connect builds on the success of our previous program with Nest. The new pilot allowed us to open participation to MGE electric customers with a variety of additional smart thermostat brands," said Manager of New Products and Services Cheri Salmon. "Nearly 1,000 households in our community joined MGE Connect this year."
A majority of MGE Connect participants, about 90% on average, accepted thermostat adjustments during events. MGE also learned customers use a variety of smart thermostats to help manage their energy use. Program events will resume in summer 2020.
A key objective in our framework for the future
A key objective under MGE's Energy 2030 framework is to reduce long-term costs to customers by managing our collective use of energy. MGE is working with customers to manage growth in our electric system peak. MGE Connect helps the company explore the use of smart technologies to manage peak demand. By working together with our customers, we can reach our target of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050.