Dominion Energy Virginia recently launched a new residential tariff known as Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing that has led to a new collaboration between several Virginia clean technology organizations. Ipsun has teamed with the Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), and Lumin, a company that produces home energy management technology, to participate in the Solarize NOVA Time-of-Use Pilot Program. The collaboration will help local Dominion Energy customers save on their electricity bills—and reduce carbon emissions—by allowing them to manipulate when they pull power from Dominion Energy’s grid.
Bob Lazaro, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, is excited about this addition to the clean energy space, commenting, "Our Solarize program in partnership with LEAP and our local governments has resulted in more than 4MW of solar. The new TOU rates offered by Dominion Energy, in conjunction with a solar array tied to battery storage, is a great opportunity for residents and business owners to take control over their energy usage, save on their electricity bill, and reduce their carbon footprint."
How will this work?
The new TOU pricing plan offered by Dominion Energy incentivizes its customers to reduce power consumption at higher or “peak” demand times (3-6PM in the summer) and shift it to low or “off-peak” demand times (12AM-5AM all year round). The cost of electricity is significantly lower at the “off-peak” times - 90% cheaper in some cases - while the cost at “peak” demand time would be around double the current normal rate. Customers who can shift demand by doing laundry at night time or cooling their homes earlier in the day can end up saving substantially on their electricity bills. The program also creates an opportunity for utilizing a large home battery system to arbitrage the different rates, while adding safe and clean back-up power to residents’ homes.
A home battery that pays for itself?
Yes, a home battery would eventually pay for itself by pulling and storing power from the grid during off-peak pricing and then either utilizing it for your home during peak times or sending it back to the grid. Lumin offers a special panel with technology that controls the battery and the on/off circuits to electric appliances in your home, which allows for the programming of the battery and appliances to maximize the potential of the rate arbitrage. Ipsun Solar, an experienced residential solar installer, also installs home batteries and is familiar with pairing the Lumin panels with batteries.
“We really like the Lumin technology because it is so easy to use,” said Ipsun VP Joe Marhamati. “It gives people the power to control their energy usage at the touch of an app, and maximizes the performance of the home battery system. We are especially thrilled to be a part of the Solarize NOVA TOU program because it gives eligible customers the potential to save quite a bit of money, while also helping to stabilize the grid, and utilize more renewable energy by timing their usage. That’s a win-win-win.”
I’m interested. Now what?
Statewide, not all Dominion Energy customers will be able to participate in the new TOU program because it requires a smart-meter. Luckily, these have already been deployed to residences in portions of Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudoun counties. LEAP has begun rolling out a similar offer in Charlottesville, and is now excited to bring this opportunity to Northern Virginia, combining this program with Lumin’s technology and the implementation expertise of Ipsun Solar, notes LEAP’s NOVA region manager, Ryan Van Patten.
“This pilot brings the opportunity to Northern Virginia for the first time, allowing Dominion Energy customers to pair battery storage and smart energy management with Dominion’s TOU rates. We hope this will help promote this technology and spark a movement for folks to take control of their energy.”
For more information, please mark your calendar for a webinar next week, 1/28 from 12:30-1:30 to hear our own Joe Marhamati join Dominion Energy, and LEAP to share information about the TOU program, smart panels, and how you can make them work for you! Register here to participate: http://bit.ly/NOVA-ToU-Webinar-Register
Get in touch with us today to talk about the possibilities for your home, and whether you qualify to participate in the program. Time-of-Use isn't for everyone—it requires a change in behavior that may not work for your lifestyle, and it depends on your specific situation to see whether you will save significantly—so give us a call to learn more and weigh your options.