• Flathead Electric Cooperative empowers its members to help determine the best way to reduce residential peak load energy demand and costs;
• Pilot program utilizes GE’s smart grid-enabled products and expertise in 150 household project.
GE Appliances & Lighting (NYSE:GE) and Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC), the second largest electric utility in Montana, have agreed to a two-year pilot that gives participating FEC members the opportunity to lower their energy bills while helping the cooperative determine the most cost-effective and member-friendly ways to reduce the amount of peak-time power costs.
The FEC Peak Time pilot will involve about 150 volunteer households. Peak time refers to the time of day when a utility sees a surge in electricity demand from consumers, most typically from 5 to 7 pm. when consumers arrive home from work. The households will each receive a GE Nucleus™ energy manager, GE programmable thermostat, and GE Profile™ washer, dryer and dishwasher enabled with Brillion™ technology, FEC Peak Time rebates, and the opportunity to deploy their own energy network. The objective is to help FEC determine the most cost-effective ways to reduce power supply costs associated with peak-time demand.
“Flathead Co-op has always strived to enhance the quality of life in our communities,” said Russ Schneider, Flathead Electric Cooperative project manager. “The Co-op’s goal, through this pilot, and with the help of GE innovation, is to offer our members tools for greater control over their peak-time energy consumption, helping them save money and ensuring better overall energy management of the Co-op. What we learn will benefit all our members and the region.”
FEC included GE smart grid-enabled appliances in the demonstration project, because clothes drying, dishwashing and water heating can be a significant contributor to household peak-time demand even if other factors may drive overall electrical consumption. In the past, energy-efficiency measures have been focused on reducing overall energy consumption regardless of when it occurs. That is still important, but the reality is that the incentive for conserving peak-period energy is much greater, making it even more important to consider advanced home energy management like the technology from GE.
The GE Nucleus energy manager provides near real-time information about home energy use. The GE Nucleus will be enabled to receive Peak Event rebate periods from Flathead’s system. With the GE Nucleus energy manager and Brillion-enabled suite of GE Profile appliances, consumers have insight to make better energy decisions that will help them reduce peak-time energy consumption and save money.
“This pilot exemplifies FEC’s progressive approach to the energy challenges of the 21st century,” said Dave McCalpin, general manager of GE’s home energy management business. “As Flathead Co-op engages their members to help find solutions that work for them, GE hopes to play an instrumental role for the utility and its members by providing a suite of products that help them both achieve their goals.”
More details on the pilot, which is part of a cooperative effort involving Bonneville Power Administration and the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), can be found at flatheadelectric.com under the “Peak Time” section of the website.
For more information on the GE Nucleus and other home energy management products, please visit: geappliances.com/home-energy-manager/.
For information on additional GE home energy management pilots, visit: pressroom.geconsumerproducts.com/.
About GE Appliances & Lighting
GE Appliances & Lighting spans the globe as an industry leader in major appliances, lighting, systems and services for commercial, industrial and residential use. Technology innovation and the company's ecomaginationSM initiative enable GE Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (ge.com), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands.
About Flathead Electric Cooperative
Flathead Electric Cooperative, Inc. (flatheadelectric.com), was established to bring electric service to rural areas of the Flathead Valley. Since 1937, the cooperative has grown from a small company serving a handful of rural homes and farms to the largest member-owned electric cooperative in Montana with a mix of rural and urban residential, commercial, and industrial members. Flathead Electric is proud to be a locally owned and operated cooperative run for the benefit of its member/owners.