OwnerJuly 2015 to presentEl Cerrito

Finding best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow: energy efficiency, demand response,, solar, wind, electric vehicles, biofuels and smart grid. It’s all the innovations that make the energy we use more secure, clean, and affordable. The energy world's best hopes lie in what's happening in the digital realm, especially in data analytics.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tsukuba Environmental Style Test Project

1. Background
2. Acronyms/Definitions
3. Business Case
4. Benefits
5. Risks/Issues
6. Companies
7. Links


2. Acronyms/Definitions

3. Business Case
  • Test the viability of reusing EV batteries in fixed battery stations - Develop a system to reuse EV batteries in fixed battery stations, including remote battery monitoring technology.
  • Test a model to optimally use renewable energy in EVs and in participating stores - Using information and communications technologies (ICT) in conjunction with control and electricity storage technology, develop an effective system to optimally use electricity that is generated through solar panels, stored in fixed battery stations and supplied to EVs and participating stores.
  • Test the viability of a new service to accelerate the establishment of a low-carbon transport society - Introduce an EV car sharing system based at convenience stores.
  • Test an integrated contactless smart card payment system for the rapid chargers and the car sharing service.
4. Benefits

5. Risks/Issues

6. Companies
  • Project leader - Itochu Corporation 
  • Family Mart - Provide sites for the project at convenience stores -
  • Itochu Enex - Provide sites for the project at service stations -
  • Tokyo R&D - Electric vehicle-related -
  • Th!nk (Norway) - Electric vehicle-related -
  • Kyuki - Supply rapid chargers -
  • EnerDel Inc. (US) - Supply vehicle batteries and fixed batteries -
  • Seiko Electric - Fixed battery system integration -
  • Itochu Techno-Solutions - Supply ICT technology, data center -
  • Windcar - Car sharing service operation -
  • Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation - Car sharing-related -
  • Nippon Car Solutions Co. - Car sharing-related -
  • Ecosystem Japan - Supply solar panel systems -
  • Mazda Motor Corporation - Electric vehicle-related (provide Mazda Demio vehicles)
  • Advisory Committee -Tsukuba City -
  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) -
  • Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) -
  • The Japan Research Institute

7. Links

    • Mazda Demios to be Base Architecture for Electric Vehicle Test Project

    Saturday, November 28, 2009

    Italy - 27 Million Smart Meters

    Italy had smart grid before the name even existed and it works. The world's largest smart meter deployment was undertaken by Enel SpA, the dominant utility in Italy, to over 27 million customers.

    1. Background
    2. Acronyms/Definitions
    3. Business Case
    4. Benefits
    5. Risks/Issues
    6. Companies
    7. Links

    Echelon Smart Meter

    • The world's largest smart meter deployment was undertaken by Enel SpA, the dominant utility in Italy with over 27 million customers. Over a 5 year period beginning in 2000 and ending in 2005 Enel deployed smart meters to its entire customer base.
    • Italian electricity prices are more expensive than average European rates, partly because Italy produces 70% of its electricity from hydrocarbons, while in the rest of Europe the same percentage is produced from coal and nuclear fuel.
    • These meters have integrated bi-directional communications, advanced power measurement and management capabilities, an integrated, software-controllable disconnect switch, and an all solid-state design. They communicate over low voltage power line using standards-based power line technology from Echelon Corporation to Echelon data concentrators at which point they communicate via IP to Enel’s enterprise servers.
    • However, power line communications remains a relatively rare form of communications for smart meter deployments in North America, which have tended to rely on utility-owned wireless networks so far.

    2. Acronyms/Definitions
    1. ADDRESS - Active Distribution network with full integration of Demand and distributed energy RESourceS - A large-scale Integrated Project co-founded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program, in the Energy area for the "Development of Interactive Distribution Energy Networks".
      • Its target is to enable the Active Demand in the context of the smart grids of the future, or in other words, the active participation of small and commercial consumers in power system markets and provision of services to the different power system participants.
      • The total budget is €16 million, with €9 million financing by the European Commission. The project started on June 1st 2008 and will last 4 years (2008 - 2012). It is carried out by a Consortium of 25 partners from 11 European countries, and is being coordinated by Enel Distribuzione.
    2. BPL – Broadband over Power Lines - Uses PLC by sending and receiving information bearing signals over power lines to provide access to the Internet.
    3. PLC - Power Line Communication (power line carrier) also known as Power line Digital Subscriber Line (PDSL)
    4. PLT - Power Line Telecom - A system for carrying data on a conductor also used for electric power transmission. (aka PLN – Power Line Networking)

    Smart Meter

    3. Business Case
    • Enel’s smart electricity meter that communicates through PLC to the nearest substation, next, centralized control rooms read the data through GSM cellular communications.
    • The system provides a wide range of features, including the ability to remotely turn power on or off to a customer, read usage information from a meter, detect a service outage, detect the unauthorized use of electricity, change the maximum amount of electricity that a customer can demand at any time; and remotely change the meters billing plan from credit to prepay as well as from flat-rate to multi-tariff.
    • Echelon's Networked Energy Services (NES) System delivers core services such as:
      • Automated meter reading
      • Outage detection
      • Theft and tampering detection
      • Very accurate data collection
      • High level of reliability
      • Extensibility from 10,000s to millions of customers

    4. Benefits
    • Reduction of Electricity Theft - This is probably the biggest saving in Italy's case and was a problem that plagued that market. While some customers can indeed steal services by breaching the data channel, it is an additional barrier for criminals. Without some relatively sophisticated equipment, it is hard to hide where electricity theft is occuring. With 'dumb' meters, it is far easier to game them.
    • Cost Savings - Savings at the household level are not dramatic, but when multiplied by millions of customers, the investment has a reasonable pay-back. Enel’s smart grid system cuts power bills by about 1.5 Euros per customer per month, says Bob Dolin, CTO of Echelon, which put in the power-line networking equipment that underlies the system. That comes to 18 Euros a year per home.

      But since the utility has installed smart meters in 30 million homes since 2001, added all up that comes to approximately half a billion Euros a year. The utility raised €2.2 billion to install it, giving it a four-year payback.
    • Avoided High Voltage - The savings that come from smart grid technologies, however, aren't always easily predicted. In Italy the money in homes saved doesn't come through demand response programs. Instead, it comes because the utility can deliver electricity at lower voltages to homes because of the meters and because of phase balancing, a process that better matches the output from the utility with the usage patterns of homes.
    • Pre-Payment Option - The Italian project also deployed pre-paid power systems in some locations. It's like a Laundromat: you put money in, and power runs until the cash runs out. England had this after World War II.
    • Existing Infrastructure - The extensive powerline infrastructure already available appears to allow people in remote locations to access the Internet with relatively little equipment investment by the utility. Also, such ubiquitous availability would make it much easier for other electronics, such as televisions or sound systems, to hook up.
    • Signal Coverage - The primary advantage of power line arises from the fact that it has better signal coverage than wireless. Power line networking chips allow communication signals to travel on the same wires that go to the lights. As a result, rapid, finely tuned commands can be shuttled from a utility without worries that other radios or environmental disturbances will hamper.
    • Bulk Purchase SavingsAccording to IBM, the Enel initiative is the best example of the significant savings possible from the large-scale purchase and implementation of advanced meters. Our preliminary analysis indicates that purchases of fewer than 500,000 meters cost a premium of up to 80% over larger block purchases. So, for example, while a large utility ordering over 500,000 meters may pay $200 per meter, a smaller utility ordering fewer meters would pay $360 each for the same meter.

    5. Risks/Issues
    • Low Bandwidth - ENEL was the first to use PLC on a mass scale and has the advantage of having evaluated the technology for quite a few years. However, this is narrowband PLC technology and bandwidth can only support simple meter reading functions.
    • Transformers Block BPL Signal - BPL has developed faster in Europe than in the United States due to a historical difference in power system design philosophies. Power distribution uses step-down transformers to reduce the voltage for use by customers. But BPL signals cannot readily pass through transformers, as their high inductance makes them act as low-pass filters, blocking high-frequency signals. So, repeaters must be attached to the transformers. In the U.S., it is common for a small transformer hung from a utility pole to service a single house or a small number of houses. In Europe, it is more common for a somewhat larger transformer to service 10 or 100 houses. For delivering power to customers, this difference in design makes little difference for power distribution. But for delivering BPL over the power grid in a typical U.S. city requires an order of magnitude more repeaters than in a comparable European city.
    • Lack of BPL Standards - Variations in the physical characteristics of the electricity network and the current lack of IEEE standards mean that provisioning of BPL is far from being a standard, repeatable process.
    • Signal Quality- Power lines are inherently a very noisy environment. Every time a device turns on or off, it introduces a pop or click into the line. Energy-saving devices often introduce noisy harmonics into the line. The system must be designed to deal with these natural signaling disruptions and work around them.
    • Radio Interference - Older versions of BPL interferes with ham radios and emergency equipment. In April 2008, in a lawsuit brought by the American Radio Relay League ham radio association, a federal court ruled that the FCC had to rewrite its BPL regulations to solve that problem. BPL companies solved that problem by "notching" the frequencies they used to avoid those that interfered with ham radio.

    6. Companies
    • Enel –An Italian energy provider, the third-largest in Europe by market capitalization. Formerly a state-owned monopoly, it is now partially privatised with Italian government control: the largest shareholders are the Italian Ministry of Economy & Finance (21.4%) and the state-run bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (10.2%).
    • Echelon San Jose, CA -(Nasdaq: ELON) -Develops, markets, and sells a range of hardware and software products and services that enable original equipment manufacturers and systems integrators to design and implement open, interoperable, and distributed control networks in the building, industrial, transportation, utility/home, and other automation markets. In August Echelon signed a $15.8 million order with utility Duke Energy for smart meters and supporting services. But that initial order for about 120,000 smart meters could expand to $150 million.

    7. Links

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    Energy Smart Miami

    Miami will spend an estimated $578 million on an ambitious smart grid project to insert smart meters in pretty much every building and residence in the city.

    1. Background
    2. Program Components
    3. Business Case
    4. Benefits
    5. Risks/Issues
    6. Participating Companies
    7. Links

    • Speaking at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, on October 27 President Barack Obama announced the largest single energy grid modernization investment in U.S. history, funding a broad range of technologies that will spur the nation’s transition to a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electric system. The end result will promote energy-saving choices for consumers, increase efficiency, and foster the growth of renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

      The $3.4 billion in grant awards are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and will be matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion.

      FPL was awarded the maximum $200 million grant for Energy Smart Florida is a comprehensive project to advance implementation of the Smart Grid, including installing over 2.6 million smart meters, 9,000 intelligent distribution devices, 45 phasors, and advanced monitoring equipment in over 270 substations. By incorporating intelligence into the transmission, distribution and customer systems, the utility will be able to anticipate and respond to grid disturbances, empower customers through alternative rate programs, and enable the integration of renewable and on-site energy sources.
    • In April 2009, Miami-Dade County and Florida Power and Light announced that under the Energy Smart Miami plan, funded in part by federal stimulus dollars, the utility would install smart meters on one million homes and buildings in the county, essentially covering the entire city. Florida Power & Light, the electric company in the area, already has 100,000 in service in Broward County, north of Miami.
    • The project, which aims to land stimulus bill funding for as much as half the project, will create as many as 1,000 new jobs as it brings next-generation technology to homes and businesses. In addition to smart meters, the project aims to install solar power systems on several schools and universities, add 300 plug-in hybrid vehicles to the city's fleet, and bring a series of new technologies like home energy use dashboards, smart appliances and smart-meter thermostats to pilot programs in 1,000 city homes.
    • Some of the money is for sensors on the high-voltage grid, and the distribution network, including transformers, power lines and switches, to give operators a clearer idea of the condition of the equipment, and earlier warning of problems that could lead to blackout.
    • Energy Smart Miami piggybacks on a series of already planned upgrades to the Miami area electric grid that has been in the works from FPL and California-based Silver Spring Networks. In the new project, GE will provide one million smart meters to the project, with the potential to upgrade to 4.5 million, enough to cover FPL's entire customer base in Miami-Dade. Silver Spring Networks will provide the technology to link those smart meters, and Cisco is spearheading the in-home smart devices and home dashboards in 1,000 residences.

    From left, Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron,Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John Chambers, FPL Group Chairman & CEO Lewis Hay III, GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Silver Spring Networks Chairman and CEO Scott Lang, each hold a Smart Meter during the announcement of the Energy Smart Miami initiative at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College in Miami, Fla. on Monday, April 20, 2009

    2. Program Components
    • Smart-Grid Automation and Communications – More like the Internet than an electric network, the new Smart Grid system will connect Smart Meters, high-efficiency transformers, digitized substations, power generation and other equipment through a centralized information and control system. This will continuously monitor status, identify and automatically fix or dispatch teams to outages and provide useful information to improve reliability, efficiency and productivity from power generation through consumption.
    • Smart Meters – Through the Energy Smart Miami initiative, Smart Meters will be installed in more than 1 million homes and most businesses in Miami-Dade County. Over the next five years, FPL intends to expand the project to a total of more than 4 million homes in Florida. The cost of expanding Smart Meters outside of Miami-Dade County represents a $500 million investment in addition to the $200 million proposed in support of Energy Smart Miami. Smart Meters serve as a key interface in a system that combines a number of elements – intelligent meters, a two-way communications network using open standards, and sophisticated operating systems and databases. As a result, customers will be able to go online and monitor how much energy they have used by the month, day or hour. With this information, FPL customers will have the ability to lower their electric bills by giving them substantially more information to make decisions about their electricity consumption. Ultimately, Smart Meters and the network that connects them will provide consumers with the ability to see and manage individual devices consuming electricity in their home such as air conditioning and appliances. Smart Meters will also provide FPL with information that will help it to operate more efficiently and enhance reliability.
    • Renewable Energy Integration – Several local universities and schools will receive solar power installations to help meet energy needs with renewable, non-polluting technologies. Battery installations will enable some solar locations to store power for use during times of peak demand.
    • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) – 300 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be added to the FPL fleet serving Miami-Dade County. The PHEVs will be powered through approximately 50 new charging stations. Additional PHEVs will be rolled out in trials at Miami Dade College, Florida International University, the University of Miami and the City of Miami.
    • Consumer Technology Trials – Using the capabilities of installed Smart Meters, the initiative will conduct studies of additional consumer communications and empowerment systems to determine which delivers the greatest energy savings and consumer satisfaction. The initial trials in approximately 1,000 households in Miami-Dade will test several different systems, including:
      • Real-Time Displays - In-home energy displays or “eco-panels” to help manage electrical loads and lower power use during peak periods
      • Smart Appliances that can communicate with Smart Meters to reschedule high-energy functions or switch to a lower-consumption mode during peak demand periods
      • PCT’s - Programmable and smart-meter-controllable thermostats
      • Demand Response Software that will manage consumer appliances, lighting and other devices using Smart Meters.
    3. Business Case
    • The backbone of Energy Smart Miami will be the deployment of more than 1 million advanced wireless “Smart Meters” to every home and most businesses in Miami-Dade County. These meters will give Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) customers more information and control over their electricity usage while also providing FPL with information that will enhance system efficiency and reliability. Implementation of the Smart Meters will be based on open network architecture, allowing other providers to develop and deploy new applications that could, for example, help consumers better manage the electricity usage of their air conditioning and appliances.
    • Miami planned a five-year program of installing the meters, but will do it in two years if it can get the funds from the stimulus package, officials said. The partners comprising Energy Smart Miami’s expert implementation team have worked together extensively to ensure that the initiative meets President Obama’s criteria as a “shovel-ready” project to qualify for matching funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, commonly known as the federal stimulus package. Contingent on receiving this federal support, Energy Smart Miami could begin later this year and be completed by the end of 2011. The stimulus package specifically reserves federal matching grants for advanced electrical infrastructure and related initiatives targeting energy efficiency, energy reliability and renewable energy. Later, FPL will spend $500 million more to bring smart meters to the rest of its four million plus customer base.
    • Like a lot of smart grid projects, Energy Smart Miami won't jump to energy management nirvana in one step. Most of the first smart meter deployments will be relatively simple. Only 1,000 of the homes, for instance, will be outfitted with in-home displays and smart appliances that will let consumers see their power consumption in real time and program appliances so they can cut costs during peak times. FPL also will add 300 plug-in hybrids to its Miami-Dade fleet and install 50 charging stations.

    4. Benefits
    • Energy Smart Miami would help Miami-Dade County consumers save money by giving them more choices over how they consume and conserve electrical power. It would also generate near-term demand for “green collar jobs” to support its implementation, while further solidifying Miami’s national leadership in championing the responsible environmental practices needed to address the longer-term challenge of addressing climate change, which poses a significant threat to Florida and its coastal regions.
    • Green Jobs - Energy Smart Miami is estimated to generate demand for 800 to 1,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly involved in the deployment, during the two-year implementation period.

    5. Risks/Issues
    • Dynamic Pricing (See my Blog Article) - One function for the meter would be telling the customer, hour by hour, what the price of electricity is, thus giving the homeowner or business owner the ability to limit use during peak periods, when power is more pricey. That, of course, requires pricing power by the hour. FP&L has a tariff on file now that allows this, but according to Lewis Hay III, the chief executive of FP&L’s parent company, the FPL Group, the utility has never had the technology to use it, and will probably have to develop some new rate structure for that purpose, Mr. Hay said.
    • Interoperability – (See my blog article Standards for Standards) - John T. Chambers, the chairman and chief executive of Cisco Systems, said that while manufacturers had tried before to install “smart” appliances and other equipment that could be digitally controlled, it was not practical until the Internet was more fully developed. “God could not make this work over 350 different protocols,” Mr. Chambers said. Now, he said, technology would allow a standard communications protocol so that the grid and appliances could talk to each other.

    6. Participating Companies
    1. City of Miami
    2. Florida Power & Light Juno Beach, FL (NYSE – FPL) - A subsidiary of FPL Group and the nation’s No. 1 utility in energy efficiency programs, is leading the strategy and deployment of Smart Grid technologies for the project. Florida Power & Light provides electricity to 4.5 million customer accounts in the state of Florida, including more than 1 million in Miami-Dade County
    3. General Electric Fairfield, CT (NYSE - GE)-A world leader in power generation, distribution, and management technology, will supply key components of the project, which include Smart Meters and may extend to advanced applications and smarter control systems. General Electric has global operations in five segments: Energy Infrastructure, Technology Infrastructure, NBC Universal, Capital Finance, and the Consumer & Industrial divisions.
      • In the Smart Grid space, GE still lags IBM and others as a thought leader. Despite its broad product line and its technical excellence, it has largely been seen as a Smart Grid laggard, a perception it is now laboring mightily to change. GE has formed a Smart Grid group to pull together many different products under a common theme
      • Selected by U.S. DOE to be one of 46 multi-million-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs). Focus for GE’s EFRC— advanced energy storage technologies and zero carbon emissions solutions for transportation and stationary power applications. GE Global Research was the only corporate research laboratory chosen to lead an EFRC - May 2009
      • Smart Grid efforts have been rationalized around five “pillars:”
        • Transmission Optimization
        • Distribution Optimization
        • Demand Optimization
        • Asset Optimization
        • Design & Workforce Productivity
    4. Cisco Systems - San Jose, CA (NASDAQ: CSCO) - The worldwide leader in networking technologies will help design and implement a secure and intelligent communications platform within the county’s transmission and distribution grid and provide customers with home energy management information and controls. CISCO formally entered energy management in January when it unfurled its EnergyWise software for controlling power consumption.
    5. Silver Spring Network –Redwood City, CA - A leading provider of networking solutions for the electric grid, will provide field proven, open standards-based, secure wireless network communications. Scott Lang, the chairman and chief executive of Silver Spring Networks, which makes some of the electronics in the meters, said that they cost between $125 to $145, or about $100 more than a typical mechanical meter. The electronic ones will last 20 years, he said, because their software can be updated by remote control

    7. Links

    Thursday, September 3, 2009

    Tempo Tariff - France

    This Critical Peak Pricing System works by offering varying prices per kWh based upon the actual weather on particular days.

    1. Background
    2. Acronyms/Definitions
    3. Business Case
    4. Benefits
    5. Risks/Issues
    6. Real Life Example
    7. Links

    • Since the 1960s, EDF, France’s monopoly electricity supplier has been moving towards real-time pricing of electricity linked to marginal costs of supply. Consequently, electricity customers in France have been motivated to reduce their consumption when the generation costs are high and during congestion on the electricity network.
    • In France, 10 million electric water heaters are storing electricity over night that is generated by nuclear reactors. The system is very simple, even using electromechanical meters and panels and has been working for 30 years.
    • There are basically three options for buying your electricity in France:
      1. Flat Rate - Self explanatory and carries a slightly lower standing charge
      2. Reduced Rate Off Peak - Normally fixed at between 10pm and 6am. The standing charge is slightly higher but you benefit from an off peak rate that is reduced by about 40%.
      3. Tempo - The year is split up into 300 blue days when the price is advantageous. Then there are 43 white days when the price is increased. And then the most expensive days are termed red days and there are 22 of these in a year. In addition to the three color bands, the Tempo system also has the Off-Peak tariff as well, giving total of six possible charging rates. Sunday is always a blue day; - red days cannot fall on a holiday, weekend or more than 5 weekdays in a row.

        The standing charge is slightly higher with the Tempo tariff. The price on a white day is broadly similar to the charges for standard and off peak rates. The good news is that the tariff for blue days which cover 82% of the year are about half that of the standard rate. The bad news is that on red days the tariff is about five times higher than the standard rate!
    • In France, and many European countries, electricity bills for residential and small business customers include a standing charge determined by the level of maximum demand (in kVA) nominated by the customer and an energy usage charge based on the type of tariff chosen by the customer. The price per kWh varies depending on the capacity of your supply. A typical domestic installation would be 9kW with a 45 amp main circuit breaker. The subscription fee determines how much amps you're allowed maximum to draw from the grid. The more you energy you reserve from the utility through the subscription fee, the less you pay per unit. It's not a linear relationship, so there is an incentive to stay at the lowest reservation of power.
    Tempo Home Tariff Indicator

    2. Acronyms/Definitions
    • Automatic Circuit Breakers – When you start to pull more power than you have subscribed for then the automatic circuit breaker is triggered. There is no way for the consumer to override it, so the only thing to do is to switch off or unplug appliances and then try again. French consumers have been used to this for 40 years. Maximum energy use is part of the culture and the people are okay with the fact that you cannot override the breaker.
    • CCP – Critical Peak Pricing – Programs offers lower electricity rates in return for setting a rate 3 to 5 times higher than the regular rate on up to twelve "Critical Peak" afternoons during the summer. Generally, the declaration is made one day in advance, but in some cases it is made just an hour before the higher rate goes into effect. Generally, the retail provider is limited – either by regulation or contract – in the number of peak days it can call in a year. At all other times, CPP customers are charged a non-dynamic rate, which may be time-invariant or may be time-of-use (TOU) based. Some CPP programs have multiple levels of critical peaks and associated retail prices, such as “peak” days and “super-peak” days, with the expectation that the higher-price days would be called less frequently.(See my Blog Article - Dynamic Pricing)
    • Standardized Switch Panels - Europe has standardized switch panel controls for electric circuits. In France’s cool climate, the most important electric circuits in the house are electric heating and electric water heaters. When you have a lot of appliances in the house and you want to subscribe to the lowest amps, then you very often get in trouble. Many consumers have been implementing a second level of load control, direct load control, which is a box that prioritizes the appliances. Consumers can override this box, but you always have to sacrifice something.
    • Ripple Control System – A one-way communication technique for sending tariff signal using the electric power lines.
    • Tempo Tariff – French Critical Peak Pricing Program - Always day-ahead alert for up to 22 days where energy is eight time more expensive.

    3. Business Case
    • The Tempo Tariff critical peak pricing program, was implemented in 1993. The idea was an all winners, no loser plan.
    • The red days are kept for between November 1 and March 31 and occur between Monday and Friday, never at a weekend or on public holidays. The system is designed to encourage people to think about when they use dishwashers, dryers and other electrical equipment.
    • The color of each day is determined mostly by EDF based on the forecast of electricity demand for that day - the level of demand is mainly influenced by the weather. RTE, the French transmission network operator (formerly a division of EDF), also has the ability to determine the day color if there is significant congestion on the electricity network.
    • Customers who choose Option Tempo are informed each night about the color for the next day. At 8 pm a signal is sent down power lines using a ripple control system. Most Tempo customers have a display unit that plugs into any power socket and picks up the signal. The display unit shows the day color with lights, both for the current day and (from 8pm) for the next day. An (optional) beep informs the consumer if the following day will be a red day. The display unit also shows whether or not the current electricity price is at the off-peak rate. Alternatively, you can visit the EDF website to see what color the next day is going to be and you can even elect to receive a daily email which includes (non contractual) predictions for the following two days.
    • Prices for electricity purchased under Option Tempo in June 2005
      • Blue days off-peak: 2.99 euro cents
      • Blue days normal: 3.81 euro cents
      • White days off-peak: 6.51 euro cents
      • White days normal: 7.79 euro cents
      • Red days off-peak: 12.42 euro cents
      • Red days normal: 35.46 euro cents
    • There are four different versions of Option Tempo, depending on the metering, communications and load control equipment installed at the customer's premises:
      1. Standard Tempo - The customer has only an electronic interval meter
      2. Dual Energy Tempo - The customer's space-heating boiler can be switched from one energy source to another
      3. Thermostat Tempo - The customer has load control equipment which is able to adjust space heating and water heating loads according to the electricity price.
      4. Comfort Tempo - The customer has a sophisticated energy controller.
    • For some customers, EDF has been adding communication between the meter and a relay that triggers the electric water heaters just at 10:00 p.m. at night, which allows actually a day/night tariff. It is very simple, but it's been proven efficient.
    • Sometimes the people don't have enough hot water because, of course, you heat the tank overnight and then you use the water during the day. So then you can always override during the day the water heater. But you cannot override the box that is limiting, that puts a cap on the amps.
    • Another interesting thing, this graphic that you cannot see is the distribution of different appliances that the people are -- that they sacrifice first. You see when it's red or white. So definitely the TV set, they don't want to sacrifice this. Neither the microwave oven, maybe to have a pizza ready to watch TV. And also the hot water. Very strange in the middle you have the vacuum cleaner, you see. But they would sacrifice, you know, all the laundry machines and even -- eve electric heating. Because, also, what I didn't say is that we've been targeting customers that might have several ways to heat the house. And it's really then being able to switch, really it's a huge behavior shift there.
    • EDF envisioned home automation networks that would be preprogrammed instead of your having to test to see whether you can be turned off; a system with at least a PCT and probably, and soon, control of the pool pump and spreading gradually to the whole house.
    Appliance Use

    4. Benefits
    • Customer Savings - Tempo customers have saved 10% on average on their electricity bill and 90% of the customers are satisfied with the tariff.
    • Flattened LoadPeak load reduction is 450 MW. Compared with blue days, the Tempo tariff has led to a reduction in electricity consumption of 15% on white days and 45% on red days, on average 1 kW per customer. EDF studies have shown that there's a potential of 7 million customers that would significantly benefit from the Tempo tariff. Subscription of those 7 million customers could lower the load by 6 gigawatts in red days and about the same in white days. Consumption would actually increase by 2 gigawatts during the blue days. ht
    • Customer Satisfaction – There are 400,000 customers on the Tempo Tariff. EDF has been a lot of studies and data on behavior, on understanding of the people, on what they've been doing with this and has found a very high satisfaction, over 90 percent. However, customers do not appreciate red days occurring consecutively.

    5. Risks/Issues
    • Customer Education - A lot of time was needed with each customer to introduce the Tempo Tariff and get the customers started. EDF spent a lot on actually advising prices before signing of the people including home visits to help people understand what it is about, what they can do, answer all their question, and giving them in confidence. EDF also organized commercial follow up after three month and after one year.
    • Materiality of Customer Savings - While the Tempo tariff has been successful, less than 20% of electricity customers in France have chosen Tempo. Tempo customers have very particular customer profiles and are interested in managing their energy use. They are prepared to constrain their lifestyles to make comparatively small financial savings relative to their incomes. Even though no Tempo customers were paying more for electricity than with the other rate, EDF still have about 3 percent of people who, after the first season, winter season, wanted to drop off the program. Despite the fact that they have been getting some savings, they thought it was not worth the hassle. There is a kind of threshold under which the people don't want to bother, even if they don't have much to do. According to EDF, the threshold is about $150 for the annual bill.
    • Cold Customers - If you can avoid using electricity on red days you should be onto a winner – but these are usually the coldest days of the year and can extend for up to five days.
    • No Automatic Circuit Breakers in US – Unlike Europe, we don’t have circuit breakers calibrated to provide a maximum amount of power in the United States. Maximum energy use is not part of the culture and the U.S. consumers would not be okay with the fact that you cannot override the breaker.
    • Open Market - The Tempo tariff was designed specifically for the situation where EDF is a monopolistic generator and retail supplier of electricity. However, it is not adapted to an open market situation. In the French open electricity market the network use of system charge does not vary between seasons and the value of peak load reduction is not reflected in spot prices for energy which are less volatile than the marginal costs of supply.

      EDF needs to manage its global load curve in an open electricity market. It will probably have to develop other types of dynamic pricing for mass market customers. The feedback from Tempo customers will be very useful in developing new products which include electricity supply and services.
    6. Real Life Example
    • This family has been running for over a year with the Tempo system, which gives some actual figures to look back on and compare what the cost of electricity would have been under the different tariffs.
    • There are two adults and two children in the house and the main electricity consumers are: hot water heater, dish washer, ceramic hob, electric oven, washing machine and tumble dryer – apart from the lights that the children tend to leave on. The house is heating by a wood burning stove and oil fired central heating. On white days, we try to avoid washing and drying clothes. On red days, they additionally switch over the oil fired boiler to heat the water instead of using electricity. They also cook as far as possible using the wood burner. Surprisingly there are no volunteers for manually washing dishes!
    • kWh Percent UsageDaysPercent Time
      Blue 13,905830082
      White 1,20484312
      Red 4733226
      Total 15,582100100100
      This table shows how many kWh were used under each tariff (Peak and off peak figures are combined) Instead of using electricity at the same rate across the different bands, this family has been able to adjust our consumption on red and white days. In round figures, our consumption on a white day has been reduced by one third and on a red day consumption was half as much as normal - it can be done.
    • Despite keeping consumption on red days to a minimum such that it accounted for only 3% of our useage, it still accounted for 20% of the annual bill!
    • If they had been using the flat rate system throughout the year, their annual bill would have been 30% higher - so it does make sense to Tempo.

    7. Links