National Grid’s Smart Energy Solutions Program, serving almost 15,000 customers in Worcester, MA, is the largest and most comprehensive smart grid deployment in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
National Grid’s program, which was developed in partnership with customers, the city of Worcester and other key parties, offers a number of benefits, including improved outage restoration, system reliability and personal energy management.
National Grid is empowering customers in the program with in-home technologies and dynamic pricing options designed to help save energy and money. These options offer a new level of choice, control and convenience in regards to their energy consumption. In addition, grid modernization solutions—including advanced meters and communications systems—enable National Grid to increase its service reliability and improve power outage and emergency restoration response. These technologies can help to improve the environment by reducing the need for new resource generation and decreasing the amount of resource generation used today.
The key benefits of the program include greater energy efficiency, greater customer access to energy management information, and greater choice for customers in how they use energy, increased electric system reliability, modernization of the local electric system and a cleaner environment.
A smart electric grid offers two-way communications between the utility and the customer. Smart meters serve as a gateway to new energy management tools and pricing options and will be able to send or receive messages to and from National Grid. This two-way communication will quickly alert National Grid about any service disruptions and allow for faster service restoration during power outages, especially during storms.
Customers participating in the program will have an unprecedented level of control and choice over their electrical energy usage, including insights into how they use energy.
Program customers will receive smart meters that provide them with their usage information during the month, close to the time of their actual use. Also, customers will be able to participate in new energy management tools, devices, and pricing options that will potentially help them reduce their electric bills.
Yes. Smart Energy Solutions includes capabilities for all customers to receive additional information about their electricity use via a website, email or through their smart phone. Also, Smart Energy Solutions will provide analysis of customer’s usage in comparison with other customers who are similar.
The Company has already upgraded the meters at 15,000 customers’ homes and businesses in the area. The meter is what gives the company the ability to offer to customers the opportunities and benefits to better manage their electrical usage provided by Smart Energy Solutions.
Starting in 2014, in-home or in-office technology will also be installed for customers who elect these options. Coming this summer, customers participating in the program will be offered new pricing options to help achieve the best balance between comfort and savings.
Smart meters are two-way communications devices that will serve as a gateway to new energy management tools, devices and pricing options that will be offered to Smart Energy Solutions customers. Smart meters are able to send or receive messages to and from National Grid. This two-way communication will instantaneously alert National Grid about service disruption at your home or business and allow for faster service restoration during power outages, especially during storms.
Traditional meters simply measure overall energy use, but provide customers with no detailed energy data. Traditional meters also provide no communications to the utility in case of a power outage. Smart meters provide new communications features that deliver detailed energy data directly to customers using web, smart phone or email technology. This additional information and the ability to communicate the information to customers in near real-time will help customers control how and when energy is consumed as well as understand the level of use in their electric bill.
The advanced meters used in the Smart Energy Solutions program will give customers the ability to measure electricity in near real-time using two-way communications between the home or business and National Grid. The two-way communications capability allows smart meters to instantly alert National Grid about a power outage. This should reduce the response time needed to repair outages.
There is no direct cost to customers for the new smart meter. The incremental costs for the Smart Energy Solutions program will be recovered from all customers because it is a test to determine what values can be provided customers through innovation.
We feel that the benefits of the Smart Energy Solutions program are significant to customers; however, you do not have to participate. You should have received notification that you were offered a smart meter upgrade. Each customer invited to participate in the program has had the opportunity to elect to not have your meter exchanged to a new smart meter.
Please note that if you have chosen not to receive a smart meter, you will be unable to take advantage of smart meter-enabled benefits offered through the program. However, if we have upgraded your meter, you still have the opportunity to opt-out of the program before it begins. Please contact us at 1-855-377-SMART (1-855-377-7627) to make this selection.
Participants in the program will always have the option to no longer participate if they so wish. If a customer changes their mind and wishes to no longer participate, they should call us at 1-855-377-SMART (1-855-377-7627).
As part of the Smart Energy Solutions program, you have the opportunity to choose from several energy management tools and technologies at no additional cost to you. These options include:
These energy management tools and technologies will provide you with more details about how and when you use energy. Additionally, some of the new tools and technologies will help you reduce energy use by enhancing the automation of your electric appliance and equipment settings for savings.
Call 1-855-377-SMART (1-855-377- 7627) and a customer care representative will be happy to assist you.
Yes, numerous independent studies have confirmed that customers who have more information and control over their energy consumption realize noticeable savings on their bills.
In the second phase of this program—beginning in summer 2014—Smart Energy Solutions customers will have even more opportunities to save money by taking advantage of new pricing plans that will be offered by National Grid.
You receive more information about these new pricing plans and how to participate in them in summer 2014.
Click here or call 1-855-377-SMART (1-855-377-7627) to request your preferred technology option, and a customer care specialist will be happy to assist you.
Customers will be able to rank their top three choices and will be assigned one of those packages while supplies last, assuming the technical requirements are met. It is important to note, all Smart Energy Solutions customers will have access to Option 1, which includes detailed personal electricity use information online.
Once your technology package has been assigned, you will be notified and a certified installer will call you to schedule a convenient date for installation.
There are many simple ways that you can reduce energy use in your home. Below is a list of some helpful tips for reducing energy use every day. Remember, savings will vary significantly from home to home. Data based on 500 kWh monthly residential usage at 15 cents per kWh per month.
For more ways to reduce your energy use, see our energy saving tips.
There are many simple ways that you can reduce energy use at your business. Below is a list of some helpful tips for reducing energy use every day. Remember, savings will vary significantly from business to business. Data based on business usage at 15 cents per kWh per month.
More tips for how you can reduce your energy use, click here.
Research has found that smart meters pose no health threats. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that all wireless communications devices in the United States meet minimum guidelines for safe human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy. The smart meters being installed by National Grid have been certified by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and assume compliance with government safety standards. In addition, the following organizations have found no adverse threats from smart meters:
People are exposed daily to low levels of RF energy, from both natural sources, such as the sun, the earth and the earth’s outer atmosphere, and from man-made sources, mainly telecommunications and common electronic devices. The Itron smart meters being installed by National Grid operate well below the regulatory safety limits and present less exposure than many common devices, such as cell phones, laptop computers and microwave ovens.
The amount of RF emitted by the new smart meter is approximately 1,000 times less than the average person’s cell phone and 500 times less than the average microwave oven.
National Grid abides by the strictest guidelines for customer data privacy, data security and safety for our customers and employees. We have protected private data about our customers’ accounts for decades, always improving its systems to meet the changing technologies, and will continue to do so as new advanced technologies are offered to customers. The new smart meters and the information communicated through these devices are subject to the same regulatory security standards that keep the electric grid secure.
Itron’s smart metering system is designed with robust security to ensure data is safe and consumers are protected. All data transmitted via the Itron smart meters is encrypted to ensure the privacy of customer information.
Yes, National Grid will keep all of its customers’ personal information private, as it has always done. We fully comply with all existing laws and regulations designed to protect consumer information and maintain that any customer information that we gather is secure.