CenterPoint Energy

Newsroom

Newsroom

 
Grid 21, Partners Search for Biggest Energy Saver
Technology Companies and Utilities launch campaign to spur innovation and empower customers

Technology Companies and Utilities launch campaign to spur innovation and empower customers.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2011) — Grid 21, a new non-profit organization committed to engaging electricity customers in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption, is partnering with Texas-based utilities Oncor and CenterPoint Energy, as well as San Diego Gas & Electric in California to launch the Biggest Energy Saver CampaignSM.

In addition to Oncor, CenterPoint and San Diego Gas & Electric, founding partners of the campaign are Itron and Landis+Gyr. IBM is a collaborator on the campaign. The campaign is the largest of its kind in the nation and will jumpstart the market for customer-friendly energy-management tools, while demonstrating to customers the benefits made possible by using information from smart meter technology.

The Biggest Energy Saver Campaign will feature a customer-savings contest sponsored by Grid21.  The campaign will also drive the creation and use of customer-friendly tools for managing home energy consumption. By giving customers easy ways to access and utilize the data provided by their smart meters, the Biggest Energy Saver Campaign will help customers make more educated decisions about their energy consumption controlling their energy costs.

One component of the Biggest Energy Saver Campaign is a nationwide call to create applications that will enable customers to better monitor and control their home energy usage. Software application developers will be vying for prizes totaling up to $150,000.

At the first White House Grid Modernization Event held earlier today, emphasis was stressed about bringing products and services to market to transform the way Americans use energy. More than 150 executives gathered to hear this message and address hurdles standing in the way of modernizing the electric grid, which is based largely on 1960’s technology.

In Texas, one grand prize winner from each participating utility’s service area will receive the Grand Prize of a new electric vehicle while the first-place winners will receive a suite of GE smart appliances that are equipped to talk to the smart meter and empower consumers to make smarter, more informed decisions on how they consume energy.

“There have been dozens of pilot programs involving smart meters across the United States, and consistently customers have reduced their energy usage and controlled their costs. Now the time has come to move beyond pilot programs and into full implementation because customers deserve it,” said Steve Hauser, Executive Director of Grid 21. “Customers are the most important component of any business and what electric utility customers are telling us is that they want the ability to better manage their energy consumption and cost. The Biggest Energy Saver will introduce tools and capabilities to customers who can then use them for the contest and in their daily lives.”

In May 2011, San Diego Gas & Electric completed the rollout of smart meters to all its residential customers.  Smart meters are one of the foundational technologies to the nation’s smart grid.   On June 6, the utility filed the first comprehensive smart grid roadmap that outlines the San Diego region’s energy future over the next decade.  The goal of the roadmap is to empower customers with the latest technology and service choices.

In July, a select group of San Diego Gas & Electric customers will receive in-home devices that display data provided by the home’s smart meter. The displays allow customers to track and analyze their home energy usage in real-time, making it easier to monitor their energy-related spending throughout the month – encouraging them to save energy and participate in the contest. 

“Nearly 20 million advanced meters are expected to be installed by the end of 2012 in California and Texas alone,” Hauser said. “The smart meter-enabled home is a huge market that will continue to grow not only in these two states, but across the country.”

With more than 3 million meters installed across Texas, as well as other significant grid investments to improve reliability and grow the nation-leading wind energy portfolio, Texas electric customers will be the largest group of participants in the inaugural Biggest Energy Saver Campaign.

“Texas has always been a global leader in energy and innovation,” said Barry Smitherman, Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. “We have a robust competitive market and are investing billions of dollars to improve our power grid, supporting cleaner generation and improving reliability. We couldn’t be more proud to have the two largest utilities in Texas with the broadest deployment of advanced meters leading the way through this new 21st century technology.”

The contests will run later this summer. Complete contest rules and registration will be available on the Biggest Energy Saver website at www.BiggestEnergySaver.com beginning mid-July. Until then, the website will serve as an online resource for customers to engage in conversations about smart meters and how to use smart technology to cut back on their electricity consumption, controlling their cost and making a positive impact on the environment. 

***
About Grid 21
Grid 21 is a new non-profit organization, based in Washington, DC and national initiative to engage customers of electricity in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption.  Contact:  Steve Hauser, 303-275-3122

About CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC, its electric transmission & distribution, subsidiary, as well as natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $19 billion. With over 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the company’s website at CenterPointEnergy.com.

Contact Floyd LeBlanc, 713.207.7125

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 ecomagination(SM) initiative enable GE Appliances & Lighting to aggressively bring to market products and solutions that help customers meet pressing environmental challenges. General Electric (NYSE: GE), imagination at work, sells products under the Monogram®, Profile™, GE®, Hotpoint®, Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Tetra®, Vio™ and Immersion® commercial brands. For more information, consumers may visit www.ge.com Contact: Kimberly Freeman, 502-452-7819

About IBM
IBM is a trademark of IBM Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other company/product names and service marks may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries licensed exclusively through The Open Group.  Contact: Fabienne Guildhary, 917-472-3733

About Itron
At Itron, we're dedicated to delivering end-to-end smart grid and smart distribution solutions to electric, gas and water utilities around the globe. Our company is the world's leading provider of smart metering, data collection and utility software systems, with nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide relying on our technology to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Our offerings include electricity, gas, water and heat meters; network communication technology; collection systems and related software applications; and professional services. To realize your smarter energy and water future, start here: www.itron.com.  Contact: Sharelynn Moore, 509-891-3524

About Landis+Gyr
Privately held Landis+Gyr is the leading global provider of integrated energy management products tailored to energy company needs and unique in its ability to deliver true end-to-end advanced metering solutions. Landis+Gyr operates in more than 30 countries across five continents, and employs over 5,000 people with the sole mission of helping the world manage energy better. For more information please visit www.landisgyr.com.  Contact: Thor Valdmanis, 212-850-5696

About Oncor
Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC “Oncor” is a regulated electricity distribution and transmission business that uses superior asset management skills to provide reliable electricity delivery to customers. Oncor operates the largest distribution and transmission system in Texas, delivering power to approximately 3 million homes and businesses and operating approximately 118,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines in Texas. While Oncor is owned by a limited number of investors (including majority owner, Energy Future Holdings Corp.), Oncor is managed by its Board of Directors, which is comprised of a majority of independent directors. Contact:  Chris Schein, 877-426-1616

About San Diego Gas & Electric
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day.  SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Contact: April Bolduc, 877-866-2066

About Tendril
Tendril is the Energy Platform company, delivering end-to-end consumer engagement products, applications and services powered by Tendril Connect™—an open, secure and scalable platform that takes the complexity out of the Energy Internet and creates a dialogue between energy service providers and their customers. Delivering consumer engagement software, in-home products and applications as well as easy to integrate utility solutions such as Demand Response and Energy Efficiency, Tendril offers unparalleled insight into energy decisions, making the Energy Marketplace a reality. The company is venture backed by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Good Energies, RRE Ventures and GE. For more information, visit   www.tendrilinc.com   Contact: Sheila O’Neill, 303-324-7310

- END -