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GE and Flint Energies partner for energy-saving smart grid pilot


January 13, 2012
By Alyssa Dalton

January 13, 2012 – GE Appliances and Georgia-based Flint Energies have launched a two-year smart grid pilot to “understand the potential for GE’s Brillion-enabled appliances to save consumers money and reduce peak load when combined with peak-time rebates”.

Ten volunteer households in Warner Robins, Ga., will receive GE’s full suite of Brillion-enabled appliances, a programmable thermostat and Nucleus energy manager, as well as GE’s new Whole-Home Sensor, which enables consumers to receive real-time energy data without a smart meter. These smart grid-enabled solutions are equipped with intelligent features to reduce energy consumption—or electrical “load”—based on peak-time rebate signals from the utility, explained the company.

Flint Energies has always taken a leading role in programs to drive member efficiency and savings,” said Jimmy Autry, senior vice president for Flint Energies. “This pilot with GE rewards customers for efficiency measures during peak-demand periods — when efficiency matters most. We feel the intelligence built into GE’s appliances, thermostat and energy manager will make peak-load reduction easier and more cost-effective for our customers.”

“Peak-demand periods” refer to times of day when a utility sees a peak in electricity demand from consumers, most typically from 2 to 7 p.m. in June through September. Flint customers who reduce electricity consumption during “peak” will receive an 87-cent per kilowatt-hour rebate.

Flint will send signals directly to the home’s Nucleus energy manager, which will then communicate that price signal with the thermostat and appliances. Customers can opt to override load-reduction settings at any time, and there is no financial penalty for doing so.

“Flint Energies is at the forefront of understanding how smart grid-enabled devices in the home can provide consumers with energy savings, while helping utilities shift peak demand,” said Dave McCalpin, general manager of GE’s home energy management business. “This pilot will provide the utility industry with tremendous insights on how to engage consumers in efforts to overcome some of our greatest energy challenges.”

Flint Energies will also be offering GE’s full suite of Brillion-enabled solutions, the Nucleus energy manager, and the Whole-Home Sensor at its Flint Appliance Center in Warner Robins.