Silver Spring Networks is expanding its partnership with OG&E, Oklahoma’s largest electric utility. The utility has deployed the Silver Spring CustomerIQ web portal to all customers equipped with a Silver Spring-enabled smart meter, providing them immediate access to insights about their energy usage. OG&E is also expanding its work with Silver Spring as OG&E begins the second year of its demand response study serving 6,000 OG&E customers. OG&E will leverage Silver Spring for installation, demand management software, in-home devices, online enrollment services, and program management for the study. The Silver Spring IP-based networking and applications platform, the Smart Energy Platform, forms the foundation for OG&E’s smart metering, customer portal, and DR study initiatives.

OG&E, by providing the CustomerIQ web portal to its entire smart meter customer base, has increased its smart grid involvement in consumer engagement, delivering customer participation, outreach, research and clear articulation of the benefits of deploying smart grid technology. With the efficiencies created by the Positive Energy Together program, OG&E estimates it could avoid building two new 165 MW peaking generation plants between now and 2016, a cost savings of up to $320 million over 10 years.

A snapshot of the findings includes:

  • Customers with a smart thermostat achieved a maximum demand reduction of 57 percent during the peak period when compared to a control group.
  • The amount of electricity used by participants on the company’s variable peak price plan was highly influenced by price. Average energy use during the peak period ranged from a 1 percent increase during low price periods to a 33 percent decrease during high price periods.
  • The average energy reduction during peak periods, on the highest price days, ranged from 11 percent to 33 percent, depending on smart technology.

With this rollout of Silver Spring’s CustomerIQ web portal, OG&E is the first utility to offer the recently enhanced and expanded version of the portal to all 775,000 of its customers as they receive smart meters. CustomerIQ enables utilities to directly engage customers to reduce support costs and deliver energy efficiency improvements in meeting overall demand reduction goals. Leveraging Silver Spring-enabled smart meters allows customers to gain more timely energy usage data. Silver Spring delivered OG&E a fully integrated customer web portal, including support for 61 rate plans and integration with MDMS , CIS, billing, and AMI head-end systems.

Silver Spring is leading OG&E’s implementation of a fully integrated demand response solution this summer to an additional 3,000 residential and business customers (bringing the study participants to 6,000) in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, including selecting, deploying and operating the Home Area Networking devices. These thermostats and in-home displays allow study participants to participate in one of two dynamic price plans. The CustomerIQ portal, deployed as myOGEpower.com for OG&E customers, offers DR-specific features, such as rate analysis and pricing notifications, to study participants to drive reduction in peak demand. OG&E also uses the Silver Spring UtilityIQ Demand Response Manager back-office software to manage the programs. Because this software leverages the Silver Spring IP-based network, which supports multiple smart grid applications on common infrastructure, OG&E benefits from simplified back-office integration.

For the summer of 2011, participants who volunteer for the second phase of the study will have the opportunity to manage their electricity use and costs with Control4 EC-100 in-home energy displays and the Energate Pioneer PCT. OG&E will use study results from 2010 and 2011 to determine how customers respond to price signals and information delivered via smart technology to reduce energy consumption during peak demand and price periods. The interoperability of Control4 EC-100 and Pioneer PCT units with the Silver Spring Smart Energy Platform creates a robust end-to-end Smart Grid architecture. The Silver Spring UtilityIQ Demand Response Manager application sends data to the EC-100 and the Pioneer PCT, leveraging Silver Spring-enabled meters to effectively deliver complete energy information in real time.