PowerShifting: Washington Electric Co-op Connects Water Heaters to Support Renewable Energy, Reduce Costs

Project PowerShift – a collaboration between Washington Electric Co-op (WEC), Efficiency Vermont, Packetized Energy, and Virtual Peaker – uses connected devices and our cloud-based technology to “reduce costs by shifting energy use to get the most benefits out of renewable energy” while saving your customers money in the process!

For WEC members, the flexible load management program is automated and seamless.

Smart water heaters that are connected to the program enable the rural co-op to direct their residential hot water tanks to heat and store the energy at the most cost-effective times of day, essentially creating a cloud-based network of thermal batteries. During peak demand, when costs typically are higher, the stored energy is shifted in real-time across WEC’s service territory, which includes parts of more than 40 towns in a north-central Vermont service area of more than 2,700 square miles.

WEC members already get 100% of their power from renewable energy sources, so they’re highly attuned to how the rural co-op can take an active role in managing peak energy loads and reducing costs.

“We have over $4 million in peak-related costs,” said Patty Richards, WEC’s general manager. “If we could shave off 10 percent of these bills that would be significant, and we, in turn, can pass along those savings to members.”

In addition to the operational savings that reduce costs for all WEC members, those who participate in Project PowerShift receive a $5 credit on their bills each month to share the benefits of supporting a renewable future.

The Project PowerShift partnership is just one of many flexible load management programs that Virtual Peaker supports. Contact us to find out more about how you can use our technology to save your customers energy and money.

About The Author

Jeff is the VP of Sales for Virtual Peaker. He has spent his entire career in energy and data analytics where he has led teams working with utilities, government agencies, oil and gas companies, and financial institutions to help drive growth strategy and manage energy transition. He has worked with a team of analysts in developing an integrated resource plan (IRP) for a major U.S. vertically integrated utility, with a focus on load forecasting, locational marginal pricing (LMP) prediction, and long-term grid reliability. He has also managed the development of marketing and growth strategy for one of the four largest global oil and gas firms with a focus on the long-term viability of the Asian market-entry strategy.

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