Pilot project helps reduce energy consumption

IBM involved in smart grid pilot project

September 23, 2009

IBM involved in smart grid pilot project

IBM and Consert today announced the completion of smart grid pilot project installations with nearly 100 commercial and residential participants partnering with the Fayetteville Public Works Commission (FPWC) in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The pilot has helped local businesses and residents actively participate in the monitoring and control of their energy usage with savings of up to 40 percent.

The pilot aimed to reduce “ghost” consumption on devices such as air conditioners and water heaters that draw energy when no one is home to use them. Consumers will be able to do these same activities from a PDA or mobile phone early next year.

Consert provided the technology for the pilot with smart meter and software applications technology based on IBM software including DB2, WebSphere and Tivoli. The system is designed to provide customers with a real-time, two-way interactive communication and control system that allows for up to 256 devices and components to easily work with each other.

“By demonstrating an effective smart grid consumer application, Fayetteville Public Works Commission is taking a significant step to further smart grid adoption. North Carolina is fortunate to have companies like Consert and IBM as part of a growing cluster of smart grid companies. I am optimistic about growth in this part of the green economy, creating benefits for consumers and utilities, as well as creating jobs, spurring innovation and attracting investments for the application of intelligent technology to how we deliver and use electricity,” said John E. P. Morrison, North Carolina Commerce Assistant Secretary for Energy.

Since the inception of the FPWC pilot program, the Consert system has measured and verified a reduction in energy consumption of up to 40 percent in some participating households.

“The pilot creates an additional way for the Fayetteville Public Works Commission to effectively meet the requirements of North Carolina renewable and energy efficiency legislation, address future demands for costly generators and help consumers realize savings,” said Jack Roberts, Consert, Inc. CEO and president.