Making the cut. With Con Edison’s smart meter rollout nearly complete, it’s time to figure out how to make the new glut of information work for you. Enter GridRewards, an app that pays consumers real money to reduce energy usage during peak demand times.
Smart steps. The app, which users can download to their smartphones, connects to their Con Edison accounts. It provides a detailed picture of energy consumption, including daily kilowatt usage for the previous month and how it compares to the last billing cycle, as well as your electricity carbon footprint. The app then provides recommendations on how to reduce usage according to the season. In wintertime, suggestions range from heating only necessary parts of your home to reducing your thermostat setpoint; in summertime, suggestions include intermittently turning off the air conditioning and raising the thermostat a few degrees. The app also offers a checklist of everyday actions to take all year long, including air-drying clothes or skipping the heat-dry setting on the dishwasher.
The payoff. Each action is accompanied by a dollar-sign rating, indicating how much it will slash your energy bill. The real savings, however, come during GridRewards “events” – which typically occur during sweltering summer afternoons, when electricity is priced the highest. “When demand is high and the grid is heavily congested, we notify all of our users with push notifications,” says David Klatt, the vice president of operations at GridRewards.
Money in hand. Users who save electricity on all of the GridRewards events will earn the maximum amount of money, which varies according to location and arrives in the form of a check at the end of summer. While the app can be used only by individuals with smart meters – and not by entire buildings – it’s something boards should definitely tell shareholders and unit-owners about. “It’s a great tool for people to get paid by the utility for being energy conscious,” Klatt says.