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Second Year Preliminary Results Confirm Smart Technology Helps Reduce Peak Energy Use

16:44 EST Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More than 90 percent of OG&E customers realized savings

OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) today announced promising results from approximately 6,000 residential customers who participated in the final year of its two-year demand response study.

The company will present its preliminary findings Jan. 24, at DistribuTECH, one of the utility industry's leading smart grid conferences and expositions, in San Antonio. A snapshot of the results includes:

  • 2011 study results confirm the company's findings from the 2010 study.
  • Groups that included a Programmable Communicating Thermostat (PCT) and a Variable Peak Price (VPP) rate plan yielded highest average demand reduction during the on-peak period.
  • Customers with a smart thermostat achieved a maximum demand reduction of 48 percent during the peak period when compared to a control group.
  • 1.97 maximum demand reduction with PCT/VPP treatment.
  • The amount of electricity used by participants on the company's VPP plan was highly influenced by price.

 

"Positive results from our 2011 study confirm that voluntary demand reduction is attainable with the right combination of technology and information provided to the customer," said Ken Grant, managing director of customer solutions.

More than 6,000 residential and small business customers in Norman, Moore, and Oklahoma City, Okla., participated in the 2011 study, which was conducted from June through September.  Residential and small business customers who volunteered to participate were randomly assigned a combination of a peak price plan and smart technology.  

Grant added that in addition to the peak reduction data, the company continues to learn from the study and its participants about which technology provides the best information to help them manage their energy more wisely.

"Our 2011 study results confirm our belief that if we partner with our customers by providing the technology and energy use information needed to reduce demand, they will respond favorably," Grant said. "Even with the extreme temperatures Oklahoma experienced during the summer, our customers were able to reduce demand and save."

"I am amazed by the creative ways our customers said they were shifting use," he added.  "In addition to bumping the thermostat up a few degrees, customers used slow cookers or cooked meals outside to avoid heating up the home during peak hours. Our challenge is to provide products and services to help each of these customers make informed energy choices."

This year, OG&E is expanding its program to include an additional 40,000 residential and small business customers in its SmartHours program.

"Our customers are vital to ensuring the long-term success of our demand reduction programs," Grant said.  "It's a partnership that we share.  These study results clearly demonstrate that smart technology coupled with dynamic pricing enables customers to reduce their maximum peak energy use, which will help delay the need for building incremental generation until at least 2020." 

In 2008, OGE Energy Corp. Chairman and CEO Pete Delaney established a goal for OG&E to delay the addition of any new fossil-fueled generation until at least 2020.

OG&E is nearing the end of a three-year comprehensive deployment of smart grid technology across its service territory, which includes the installation of smart meters, a secure wireless network and smart equipment on its distribution system to increase reliability and reduce operational expenses.  It received approval last year from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission for recovery of approximately $360 million in project costs, of which more than $100 million is in matching funds from a US Department of Energy stimulus grant.  A case seeking recovery for smart grid deployment in areas served by OG&E in Arkansas is pending in that state's public service commission. 

OGE Energy is the parent company of OG&E, a regulated electric utility with more than 789,000 customers in a service area spanning 30,000 square miles in Oklahoma and western Arkansas; and of Enogex, currently with 8,000 miles of pipe, nine processing plants and 24 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage capacity.

 

SOURCE Oklahoma Gas and Electric

For further information: CONTACT: Media, Kathleen O'Shea, +1-405-553-3395, or Smart Grid Media, Penny Seale, +1-405-306-8386




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