On the heels of offering customers a deal on Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries and deep discounts on Leaf electric vehicles, Green Mountain Power is rolling out a new plan aimed at saving customers money and reducing loads on the grid.
Green Mountain, a B Certified Corporation and Vermont’s largest electric utility, launched its “eSmartwater Program” late last month, announcing it would provide an Aquanta water heater controller and a Nest Learning Thermostat for 99 cents a month.
Green Mountain customers should see a nice return on their buck. The third-generation Nest, which goes for $249 at the company website, is designed to teach itself when to raise and lower indoor temperatures based on family habits. The $149 Aquanta also is designed to save money by adjusting water temperates to meet a family’s needs via an “autonomous learning function.” Both WiFi-connected devices can be controlled with a smartphone.
Green Mountain predicted that customers would be able to save an average of $131 to $145 a year with the Nest; Aquanta says customers should be able to trim between 10% and 30% from their water heating bills.
As a post at GTM explained, customers who take the 99-cent deal also agree to give Green Mountain some control over their water heaters, within certain limits. “We can basically push a button, schedule water heaters to turn off at this time,” and use the resulting load drop to reduce system-wide capacity charges, or mitigate congestion on distribution circuits, Josh Castonguay, GMP’s director of generation and renewable innovation, told GTM.