Vincent saves money by taking a little heat

Tuesday, 11 June, 2013


The City of Vincent (Vincent) in Western Australia has signed a five-year contract to be part of the EnerNOC’s DemandSMART energy-saving program that is designed to reduce energy costs and provide visibility of energy consumption.

Vincent will be paid $10,000 each year for the next five to be ‘on-call’ to reduce its power use in case of an emergency, for example, when city-wide air-conditioning use loads up the electricity grid.

As demand for electricity continues to rise, utilities and grid operators continue to look for ways to increase the electric grid’s capacity. Where once the only option was to fire up costly backup plants, power providers can now look to energy users, like Vincent, to relieve the grid of excess demand at critical times.

Mayor Alannah MacTiernan says, “EnerNOC will work closely with the city’s staff to set up sophisticated systems that track our energy use online in real time and design an energy curtailment plan - all at EnerNOC’s cost - to reduce non-essential energy use during critical periods of imbalance between electricity supply and demand on the grid.”

During these critical-need periods, a demand response dispatch is triggered, and utilities and grid operators call upon EnerNOC to enact Vincent’s energy-reduction plan. The grid is stabilised and Vincent is paid for every kilowatt it doesn’t use during this time. It is also paid year round just for being on call.

This initiative is one of the first to be rolled out as part of the Vincent’s new Energy Management Plan, which will see some energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits take place over the next few years.

Mayor MacTiernan says, “Last year the city’s energy bill was $1.83 million. As electricity prices spiral we’re seizing new solutions like this to reduce our energy costs and carbon footprint.

“This is one way we can help the environment by relieving the grid of excess demand at critical times whilst receiving fiscal compensation for our energy efficiency. Team this with being able to view our energy use data in real time for better insights and management and it’s a real no-brainer - everyone benefits from this program,” said the Mayor.

EnerNOC technicians deploy DemandSMART technology at Vincent’s sites and cover all costs associated with bringing it online. Staff can view the energy use data in real time through EnerNOC’s online portals and hence, stop managing energy in the rear-view mirror and gain up-to-the-minute visibility into how much energy the city is using.

The graph shows the dramatic increase in Vincent’s energy costs over the past five years. These include street lighting, irrigation pumps and bores for parks and gardens, as well as operating city-owned properties such as the library, administration centre and Beatty Park.

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