EV charging-based smart home energy solutions taking off in US

Cloud-based energy management platform Virtual Peaker and Enel X are partnering on smart home energy solutions in the US.

The basis of the solutions include Enel X’s JuiceBox smart charging stations with the JuiceNet software and Virtual Peaker’s energy management solutions to deliver demand response capabilities to utilities to support the broader integration of electric vehicles (EV) and manage peak demand.

Among the first customers reported are Washington State’s Snohomish County PUD (SnoPUD) and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC).

SnoPUD is deploying JuiceBox smart EV charging stations and smart thermostat programmes from Virtual Peaker in its FlexEnergy programme to incentivise customers to adapt their behaviour or employ innovative home technology to shift energy usage.

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The programme is piloting a fixed rate design to encourage customers to reduce their energy usage at times designated by the utility, such as when energy demand is high.

For MMWEC, Virtual Peaker and Enel X will collaborate on systems designed to provide flexible demand response solutions through the JuiceBox smart charging stations as well as smart water heaters, batteries and thermostats.

MMWEC’s ‘Connected Homes’ programme provides customers with smart devices with brief, limited adjustments – e.g. temporarily reducing EV charging during peak hours – in exchange for a rebate or bill credit, providing a way for them to save money while supporting the management of the network.

“Software plays a critical and increasingly urgent role in transforming how we as a society consume energy while preserving precious natural resources,” says William Burke, Virtual Peaker founder and CEO.

The JuiceNet platform monitors drivers’ historical charging patterns, acquires real-time input and signals from the electric grid to aggregate and manage charging station demand. In California, Enel X, through its aggregation of enrolled smart EV chargers, is managing a roughly 70MW distributed virtual power plant.

Giovanni Bertolino, Head of e-Mobility at Enel X North America, points to the need for intelligent energy solutions as the extreme weather events seen in the region become more common.

“Through our partnership with Virtual Peaker, we’re able to deliver smart charging solutions to new markets, benefiting the utilities and their customers.”