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For Immediate Release:
NSTAR Media Contacts:
Caroline Allen: (617) 424-2460
Michael Durand: (508) 441-5831
Evening and weekends: (617) 541-7888
Tendril Media Contact:
Sarah Blanchard (206) 789-5668
Patricia Wheatley (303) 951-4360
NSTAR Partners with Tendril for Innovative Smart Grid Program
Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities grants approval for pilot program in NSTAR service area
Boston – March 29, 2010 – NSTAR’s innovative Smart Grid pilot program has gained approval from the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and will soon begin enrolling in the program customers interested in tracking and reducing their energy. Tendril will work with NSTAR to leverage its existing automated meter reading (AMR) infrastructure to offer near-time energy information and management to 2,800 customers.
“In today's climate, our customers want simple, cost-effective solutions to help them lower their energy usage and cut down on overall costs,” said Tom May, NSTAR Chairman, President and CEO. “By partnering with Tendril to pair our existing meters with the latest technology available, we are helping our customers gain access to useful data at the lowest cost possible. We plan to use the information gathered from the pilot program to help us design future Smart Grid offerings to all of our customers.”
NSTAR and Tendril will build a framework for Demand Response and direct load control programs to manage residential energy demand, and to implement time-of-use, critical peak and other dynamic pricing programs. Selected homes in Newton, Hopkinton and Jamaica Plain, Mass. will be provided energy usage information via the Tendril Insight in-home-display (IHD) and Tendril Vantage web portal.
Together with NSTAR’s automated meter reading equipment, the Tendril platform will allow NSTAR to offer dynamic pricing to their customers that can help them save energy and money. For example, at times when usage on the electric grid is high, the communications system can notify customers of incentives available to those willing to lower their energy usage by having the customer temporarily shut off non-essential electric appliances such as lamps or fans. Some customers will also be offered new “smart thermostats” that would automatically change the temperature in their homes depending on conditions in the company’s electric system. Customers will also be able to track their daily energy usage and cost, compare it against the previous day’s use, and estimate their future bill.
“What consumers will see from this program is that the Smart Grid is a readily available technology which provides tremendous opportunities to manage energy use, costs and impacts on the environment,” said Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck.
“By offering these technologies to their customers, NSTAR is leading the development of Smart Grid and bringing advanced energy efficiency and environmental stewardship to their communities.”
The $16 million pilot program was developed in response to the Massachusetts Green Communities Act and is partially funded through a federal stimulus grant from the Department of Energy. NSTAR will begin enrolling qualifying customers immediately, with the program running through 2012. Customers in Newton, Hopkinton and Jamaica Plain can learn more about how to sign up at www.nstar.com.
About Tendril Insight and Tendril Vantage
The Tendril platform links near-time data accessed from the utility meter directly to an in-home device and a customer’s computer via a Home Area Network. The Tendril Insight is an IHD that provides current household energy use, in both kilowatts and dollars per hour. It also shows price information such as the present day’s accumulated cost and the prior day’s total cost.
In addition, the customer can access more detailed information through the Tendril Vantage web portal simply by using their home computer and an Internet browser. The Tendril Vantage web portal displays historic information such as energy usage compared to prior weeks and previous monthly bills. It also provides an estimated future bill based on the customer’s current energy consumption and compares household energy use to other homes in the area.
NSTAR is the largest Massachusetts-based, investor-owned electric and gas utility. The company transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to 1.4 million customers in Eastern and Central Massachusetts, including more than one million electric customers in 81 communities and 300,000 gas customers in 51 communities. For more information, visit www.nstar.com.
Tendril is a leading energy management technology provider that brings unprecedented insight and control to the Smart Grid. The Tendril platform provides an open, secure and scalable end-to-end solution that creates a dynamic dialogue between energy providers and their customers. The platform includes both utility and in-home products and applications, and integrates seamlessly with existing back office applications and network infrastructure. Tendril is venture backed by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Good Energies, RRE Ventures, Vista Ventures, GE and Appian Ventures. For more information, visit www.tendrilinc.com