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Why I’m so excited about our new Behavioral Demand Response offering

Behavioral Demand Response is nothing new.

While implementations vary widely, the concept is quite simple – ask and ultimately incentivize customers to change their energy consumption behavior to match the needs of the grid. Then, using baselining, evaluate the effectiveness of the program by measuring kW saved during peak times.

Up to this point, our core focus as a company has been on the next generation of demand-side management (DSM): a flexible load ecosystem of distributed energy resources (DERs). But the more utilities we talk to, the more we have learned that managing more technically simple (but larger scale) behavioral demand response programs for both residential and commercial remains a key pain point for utilities – despite their having an eye to the future. That pain is caused by:

  • Cost – Behavioral DR platforms are super expensive, and often push the value of programs out of the money, especially in places with declining capacity costs.
  • Clunkiness – For those companies that can’t afford a fancy platform, many DR programs are run in more manual ways – spreadsheets, email clients, CRMs. That’s not fun for anyone.
  • A lack of scalability – Whether you are using a behavioral DR platform or brute forcing a program in Microsoft Excel, neither solution is future-proof. This means that the flexible load ecosystem referenced earlier is out of reach.

Below are some screenshots from our platform, but frankly they don’t do it justice. It solves all the problems above and then some using a low-cost, perfectly scalable model. We can be up and running in days, not months. And you can cancel any time.

What does our platform include?

AMI integration and baselining

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 3.55.43 PM

Customer visualization of savings and performance data

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 3.52.44 PM

Geographic grouping and dispatch (with maps!)

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 3.16.04 PM

Messaging via text/SMS or email

Screen Shot 2019-07-19 at 11.46.22 AM

A seamless transition to device control programs

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 3.11.55 PM

 

We’d love to show you a demo, so we can get you as excited as I am about this. Please drop us a note in the chatbox or fill out our online form. We can’t wait to hear from you.


Virtual Peaker is a cloud-based Distributed Energy Management System (DERMS) that connects to in-home smart devices such as water heaters, EV chargers, and thermostats to allow utilities to run residential demand response programs, develop new revenue streams, and exceed their customer engagement goals. By being able to integrate new devices in weeks instead of months, Virtual Peaker can integrate new devices in weeks instead of months using their API and other open standards without the installation of any additional hardware in the home. Virtual Peaker hopes to help innovative utilities maximize operational efficiency and usher in the age of renewable energy.

 

 

About The Author

Bill is a serial entrepreneur with a PhD from UC Berkeley in Controls and Artificial Intelligence and 10 years of experience with high performance residential energy management and connected appliances. He was previously at GE as an Advanced Systems Engineer in the Connected Home Software Group, but left that role in May 2014 to pursue entrepreneurship full time. Bill grew up in Louisville and returned with his family in 2010 after a long stint in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves Louisville and is working to make it a better and more attractive city for high tech startups.

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