Blogger now on National Grid’s smart[er] grid

[Update 9/12/2009] With the help of tenacious Schenectady Daily Gazette reporter Ameerah Cetawayo, this chagrined blogger has learned he’s actually got a not-so-dumb meter at his house, which keeps track of, apparently, only time of use. It’s a step in the right direction, I still think, as it should motivate my household to use electricity during off-peak times. But, no bells and whistles appear to be in store. I won’t be able to watch real time displays of my usage.

August 18

This blogger has been chronicling his attempts to hop aboard the “smart grid” bandwagon. Well it finally happened August 12, after my July 20 inquiry for a status update of my request. On that date, National Grid appears to have installed a new “smart meter” on my house. (I say “appears” only because no one told me it was going to be installed; I found out only because I received a signed agreement from National Grid in the mail and went and checked the meter.)

It took some time to get-r-done, but I do realize that National Grid is attempting to roll out a wider program in the upstate New York area and beyond.

While more updates will follow, I note that as a consumer I do find it frustrating that I am not aware -yet at least- of any way to obtain usage information other than by going outside my house and looking at the meter. This analog solution to a seemingly digital issue seems a bit archaic.

As of March 2009 the SC1C rate program entails the following hours:

RATE PERIODS: Summer (June, July, August) Winter (December, January, February) Off-Season (March, April, May, September, October, November)
On Peak
  • 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekdays
  • 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., weekdays
  • N/A
Shoulder Peak
  • 8:00 a.m., to 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., to 8:00 p.m., weekdays
  • 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekdays
  • N/A
Off Peak
  • 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., weekdays
  • All hours, weekends
  • Independence Day
  • 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., weekdays
  • All hours, weekends
  • Christmas and New Year’s
  • N/A
Off Season
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • All hours of all days

So it would appear that I (well, my family is engaged in this process as well) have a few days left of experiencing smart grid benefits (or pain) before moving to the off-season.

While I do understand that fall and spring traditionally experience less energy use than summer and winter, why would it not be compelling, if incenting consumer behavior is necessary to help control load requirements, to continue peak, shoulder peak and off-peak hours in these “off” months?

[Updated 8/18:  See related 8/18 Times Union article about public details of National Grid’s smart grid plan: “National Grid told to reveal details : PSC says utility cannot withhold financial info regarding “smart grid” plan”]

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One Response

  1. […] the Wind Power Law Blog in New York, Clifford Rohde takes a break from wind power law to report on his shift to National Grid’s time-of-use rates, a move that required the utility to install a “smart meter.” (He chronicled the first […]

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