Smart Thermostat Program Helps Manage the Grid 

Madison Gas and Electric's (MGE) smart thermostat program, MGE Connect®, which helps reduce strain on the electric grid during periods of peak demand, began its second season with residential customers in June. The program explores the use of smart thermostats to help manage the grid during the hottest of summer days when electricity use reaches its peak.

MGE expanded its smart thermostat program last year to welcome more customers and more devices. MGE Connect builds on the success of MGE's initial smart thermostat pilot, which consisted of 500 residential Nest thermostat customers and was first implemented in 2017. 

How MGE Connect works

MGE Connect
Minor increases—up to four degrees—are made to household thermostats during periods of peak demand. Customers are notified in advance via their device application and are able to change the temperature at any time during the event. Prior to some events, precooling is done to help ensure temperatures in the home remain comfortable. 

Peak demand periods put pressure on utilities to generate and distribute enough electricity to everyone who needs it. Data shows most customers allow the minor temperature adjustments during the events, which typically last two to four hours. MGE Connect events help customers save energy and help MGE better understand the potential for using smart technologies to help manage the grid. 

Key strategy for achieving carbon reductions

Energy efficiency is a key strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and for meeting MGE's goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. MGE is committed to working together with customers to advance energy efficiency to achieve shared energy goals.