Powering Strong Communities
Electric Vehicles

MMWEC Residential Demand Response Program Taps EV Software for Expansion

Connected Homes, the residential demand response program offered by Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company for municipal light plants in Massachusetts, is successfully piloting broader expansion into the electric vehicle market with Telematics, MMWEC reported on April 10.

Earlier this year, MMWEC, the Commonwealth’s designated joint action agency for public power utilities, signed an agreement with its Connected Homes program facilitator, Virtual Peaker, to add Virtual Peaker’s Telematics functionality to Connected Homes.

Nearly 40 new vehicles have signed up for Connected Homes with Telematics.

In adding Telematics capabilities to the Connected Homes program, MMWEC granted access to the program to more EVs than before, including but not limited to Tesla, Volkswagen, Ford and Toyota. 

“Connected Homes is a demand response program that leverages the technology of smart devices into cost savings for the participating light department and its customers,” MMWEC noted.

By enrolling a smart device into the program, customers agree to allow Connected Homes to make brief, limited adjustments to the devices during times of peak demand.

Customers are informed of possible adjustments in advance via email and are given the choice to opt out. Customers who participate in all adjustments in a month are given a monthly incentive.

Currently, Connected Homes offers incentives of $5 to $30 on residential batteries, electric hot water heaters, mini-split controllers, Wi-Fi thermostats, and EV chargers, but only select device brands are eligible for enrollment. Telematics software has opened the door to allow more EV drivers to participate in Connected Homes, MMWEC said.

Connected Homes typically makes adjustments through EV chargers, but the Telematics software provides direct access to the vehicles themselves, regardless of the brand of vehicle or charger.

The program connects to an EV’s onboard Telematics software to turn off a vehicle’s charging abilities during a peak time. This allows the Connected Homes program to reach EV drivers that have unreachable EV chargers, allowing them to participate in demand response programs.

Since Telematics software is already installed on EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs, customers who want to participate in Connected Homes just need to enroll in the program on NextZero’s website, www.nextzero.org, to allow Connected Homes to gain access to their vehicles.

NextZero is an MMWEC residential and commercial/industrial efficiency and electrification program for customers of municipal utilities.

ChargePoint, Emporia, and Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers are currently eligible for the Connected Homes EV charger incentive, but the Telematics software will allow customers to bring their own device into the program, giving access to select EV and PHEV models.

Adjustments will only be made if the vehicle is parked at home and plugged in. The Telematics software will also make these models available for NextZero participating MLPs that offer EV Scheduled Charging in place of Connected Homes.

Fourteen NextZero participating MLPs currently participate in Connected Homes and rebates may vary depending on the light department.

MMWEC is a not-for-profit, public corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts created by an Act of the General Court in 1975 and authorized to issue tax-exempt debt to finance a wide range of energy facilities. 

MMWEC provides a variety of power supply, financial, risk management and other services to the state’s consumer-owned, municipal utilities. 

NEW Topics