Uplight Demand-Side Solutions Deliver and Scale Amid Extreme Summer Weather Straining the Grid
Uplight, the technology partner of energy providers transitioning to the clean energy ecosystem, announced the results of its Summer 2022 demand response season, including a 43% increase in the number of demand response events run in 2022 compared to 2021 as the company continues to scale across its entire solution suite. In the face of climate change and increasingly extreme and frequent weather events, these outcomes reflect Uplight’s vision of best-in-class demand-side solutions that in turn enable deeper engagement and broader reach to meet this growing challenge.
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“The hallmark of our demand response solutions is an unmatched focus on customer experience, communication and comfort, which is driving more enrollments, better retention and ultimately more load shifted for our utility clients managing peak demand amid increasingly severe weather.”
Following summer heat waves that broke records across the country, utilities increasingly need solutions that can mitigate peak loads on the grid when temperatures become extreme and more people use more power to cool their buildings and homes. Uplight’s complete suite of solutions provides utilities critical tools they need to address the challenges presented by extreme weather at scale with simplified, streamlined digital experiences that get more customers enrolled in programs that both benefit them and ease demand on the grid.
As of the end of September, Uplight has operated 122 demand response events across a myriad of device types—including thermostats, electric vehicle chargers, and water heaters—a 43% year-over-year increase in the number of events compared to this time last year. These events have resulted in an estimated 766MW of load shifted during the summer season, a 40% year-over-year increase. This load shift is equivalent to offsetting the nameplate capacity of the Warrick coal power plant in southern Indiana.
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Marketplace Pre-Enrollment Translates to Bigger Demand Response Impact
Demand response programs are one of the most effective strategies to provide peak load reduction, which in turn compensate customers for providing energy savings for the utility—and ultimately help avoid worst-case scenarios like rolling blackouts. Uplight’s demand response pre-enrollment options in Uplight marketplaces drive more engagement and enrollment quickly, with Uplight’s utility clients seeing three-to-five times greater enrollments compared to programs with marketing campaigns and bring-your-own-device enrollment only. Uplight utility marketplaces are also selling an increasingly diverse mix of connected products at the grid edge, with EV charger sales increasing by 50% versus last year, with 76% of those enrolled in managed charging programs. Overall, Uplight’s programs are enrolling more than 1,500 energy customers in demand management programs every week, a rate that continues to accelerate as the year progresses.
“The need for effective demand response programs was put on display over and over again this summer. Just this past month, we saw California’s electricity grid one step away from rolling blackouts—a situation that was remedied thanks to demand response,” said Greg Gould, Chief Product Officer at Uplight. “The hallmark of our demand response solutions is an unmatched focus on customer experience, communication and comfort, which is driving more enrollments, better retention and ultimately more load shifted for our utility clients managing peak demand amid increasingly severe weather.”
Focus On Customer Experience Drives Better Utility Outcomes
Uplight’s hallmark has always been a focus on best-in-class customer experiences, from digital marketplaces to demand response and ongoing demand management. For demand response solutions, a better customer experience results in reduced event opt-outs while at the same time increasing load shift and customer satisfaction. On devices enabled to work with Uplight’s proprietary algorithms, utilities see an average opt-out rate of 2% versus the industry average of 20%, and program customer satisfaction ratings of 80% and up. In addition, Uplight can accomplish 20-40% more load shift while maintaining a comfort band shift of less than three degrees from customer set points.
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