On a recent visit to my local hardware store, I was struck by all of the products on display to help manage my energy needs. The store had LED light bulbs, weather stripping and fiberglass insulation to help make my home more energy efficient. There were “smart” thermostats that connect to the internet to allow me the opportunity to better manage when and how I use energy. I saw rechargeable batteries that would allow me to make energy portable to charge all my devices or electronics on the go. And, finally, they even had portable generators to backup my home’s energy supply and use during an outage.
These are the energy choices we all have down at the level of our homes and businesses. At the other end of the scale is the electric power grid that serves all of us. In 14 states and jurisdictions across the country, customers have the ability to choose the company that sells them power and the type of power plants it comes from. What is missing, however, is a connection between the technology at both ends of the scale. Until now…
On September 17, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a directive, also known as FERC Order 2222, to the operators of the nation’s regional power grids to develop rules and protocols that allow for the aggregation, connection and integration of small, dispersed energy technologies in the hands of customers to the power grid itself.
This means in the near future customers with electric plug-in vehicles, backup generators, solar panels and large battery storage devices will be able to supply power not just to themselves, but to the grid itself and get paid for it! The new directive is another step that empowers customers to take responsibility for their energy and to liberate themselves from a one-size fits all approach that sets the price and the source of power for all of us.
RESA and its member companies applaud the expansion of energy choices in the hands of customers. Our members look forward to working with customers to better help them understand and take advantage of the new choices and technologies that will soon become available under the new directive. Stay tuned, because your power supply is about to get cleaner, cheaper and be placed in your hands to control.