The Smart Grid represents new opportunities for utilities to engage their customers in various value-added services such as dynamic pricing, demand response, direct load control, and energy efficiency programs. To manage a variety of programs that communicate with in-home devices, utilities need an enterprise-grade software solution. The Consumer Engagement Management System (CEMS) is a scalable and proven solution that provides a full complement of tools and capabilities required by utilities to implement consumer-facing demand response and consumer energy efficiency programs.
Recognizing the important of adhering to standards, CEMS supports several industry protocols such as Zigbee SEP 1.1, DCI (based on Zigbee 1.0), and SecureMesh. Moreover, it also supports multiple devices such as in-home displays, programmable thermostats, and load control switches from multiple vendors.
CEMS’ web interface provides an easy-to-use graphical tool to create, verify, and approve new rate plans including time-of-use (TOU) and critical peak pricing (CPP) events. It leverages the UnitySuite Enterprise Software Platform to manage customer enrollment in individual programs and automatically keep in-home devices up-to-date with appropriate rate plans.
CEMS’s web interface provides tools to create direct load control programs, manage customer enrollment, and dispatch emergency and non-emergency curtailment events. It supports both load control switches and thermostats.
CEMS provides messaging services to enable real-time communications with consumers. It also provides multiple communications paths to provide text-based information, including messaging to in-home displays, thermostats, and email.
Utilities need to provide their customers with control of the customers’ energy savings in order to increase the adoption rates of demand response and energy efficiency programs. To enable this, CEMS provides opt-out features for dynamic pricing and direct load control curtailment events, as well as the capability to monitor program participation. It supports consumer-configured price response behavior, letting customers control their level of participation in any given program.
Monitoring and Reporting
CEMS provides real-time monitoring of two-way communication to in-home devices, enabling the operator to track CPP and curtailment tasks as they occur. It also leverages reporting features to provide historical device performance data and facilitate program management.
CEMS provides the most flexibility in the implementation of demand response or energy efficiency programs. It enables broad communication and integration capabilities with utility partners to facilitate a variety of business models. Partners such as load aggregator service providers and other energy service providers can access its functions through the advanced permission control features included in UnitySuite Enterprise Software Platform. Technology partners can also leverage APIs to customize CEMS to create tailored demand response solutions.
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