(left) Christopher Long, Director of Strategic Accounts, AutoGrid and (right) Owen Brady, Program Manager, National Grid, receive the NARUC “Utility Industry Innovation In Gas Award.”
National Grid receives the first-ever National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners “Utility Industry Innovation In Gas Award” for the company’s Natural Gas Demand Response Program which uses advanced technology to help commercial and industrial customers shift their energy usage which will help National Grid manage peak demand during the coldest winter days.
In an era of fast and profound changes in both technology and regulatory approaches in all utility sectors, the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) developed the Innovation Awards to recognize both state and utility innovators for paving the way to a more customer-focused, resilient, reliable, cost-effective, and efficient future for the utility industry. Ten awards were presented in two categories – Innovators in Regulatory Policy and Utility Industry Innovators. National Grid is the first recipient of the NARUC “Utility Industry Innovation in Gas Award.”
“National Grid is honored to be the first recipient of NARUC’s ‘Utility Industry Innovation In Gas Award’ for the company’s Gas Demand Response Program which optimizes the use of our existing natural gas infrastructure in New York and avoids the cost and environmental impact of capacity upgrades,” says Ken Daly, President, National Grid in New York. “We appreciate the leadership and support of our New York regulators for innovative business models that deliver value and savings for our customers and provide clean energy for the New York communities we proudly serve.”
Working with technology partners AutoGrid Systems, signals will be sent to direct-load-control devices provided by IP Keys on participating customers’ furnaces, boilers and other natural gas-fired equipment. The signals, also referred to as demand events, will switch large gas heating and other equipment, used in commercial kitchens, laundry facilities and manufacturing processes, on and off when there is a need to manage gas demand on the system during peak winter energy use when natural gas in New York City and Long Island reaches its highest level.
Sixteen National Grid commercial and industrial customers in the New York Metro area and on Long Island applied for the program, which will allow them to be innovative in shifting their businesses natural gas use. The customers will have an opportunity to earn an incentive each time a demand event is called; the company anticipates about six during the heating season. Demand events will be scheduled between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. throughout the winter heating season which runs from December 1 through February 28.
National Grid was the first utility to file four gas demonstration projects under New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative and the Natural Gas Demand Response Program is one of them. The company’s full Gas REV demonstration projects have been approved by the New York State Public Service Commission.
”National Grid has been a leader in electricity demand response programs and we expect that the intelligence gained from this project will be applied to larger-scale gas demand respond projects across all of our gas service area,” said Carlos Nouel, Vice President, National Grid New Energy Solutions. “Our demonstration projects include gas technologies to make our natural gas network safer, smarter and more resilient while helping to protect the environment and supporting our customers’ 21stcentury energy needs.”
NARUC is a non-profit organization dedicated to representing the state public service commissioners who regulate the utilities that provide essential services such as energy, telecommunications, water and transportation. The awards were presented during the organization’s annual meeting and education conference in Baltimore, Md. on November 14, 2017.