energycioinsights

Comverge: Integrated Demand Management Solutions Provider

Gregory J. Dukat, Chairman, President, and CEO, comvergeGregory J. Dukat, Chairman, President, and CEO
With technology innovation and evolving customer demands, today’s utility sector is developing new business models to foster environmental sustainability and greater customer controls. In addition, CIOs are on a constant lookout for solutions to critically address and enhance the security and reliability of the nation’s electric grid. Comverge, a provider of integrated demand response, energy efficiency, and customer engagement solutions, effectively keeps the nation’s power supply more reliable. For these types of mission critical solutions, cybersecurity is a key consideration. “Cybersecurity is a top priority in Comverge solutions, with multiple and redundant layers of security covering our product applications, frameworks, infrastructure, and communications,” begins Jason Cigarran, Vice President Corporate Communications, Comverge.

The firm offers IntelliSOURCE— their smart grid product—which is software delivered via the cloud that gives utilities a single operational view into all of their demand response and energy efficiency programs and automates every phase of mass-market demand management programs.

Additionally, electric utilities today are looking to increase customer engagement in order to prevent disintermediation by third parties. To achieve this, Comverge’s IntelliSOURCE combines a demand response management system with mobile customer engagement features such as thermostat management and energy saving tips.

The firm has the ability to pinpoint the technology trends that truly add value for utilities. An example of this is Comverge’s DirectLink hardware products—
IntelliTEMP DirectLink smart thermostats and IntelliPEAK DirectLink load control switches that use two-way communications to increase the precision of demand response programs and drive greater customer engagement. The smart thermostat combines a streamlined design with a modular Wi-Fi radio that eliminates the need for third-party products to deliver two-way communications between a utility and end-user.

Our platform automates every phase of mass-market demand management programs


“The implementation of demand response programs with two-way communications and IntelliSOURCE demand response optimization offers utilities unparalleled reliability, predictability, and availability when forecasting and executing demand response control events,” says Cigarran. Once optimized, demand response acts as an operational resource in a utility’s supply stack in order to better integrate renewable sources of energy, facilitate real-time energy trading decisions, and participate more effectively in capacity and energy markets.

Tasked by the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act with reducing peak and overall demand, Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) called upon Comverge to deploy the Energy Wise Rewards load control program managed by IntelliSOURCE. The partnership since 2009 has enabled PHI to install 390,000 smart thermostats and control switches, reduce more than 360 megawatts of load, and recruit more than 50 percent of the eligible households in target jurisdictions to participate in Energy Wise Rewards.

“Our track record of deploying nearly six million energy management devices and enrolling more than 1.8 million customers differentiates us within the competitive utility space,” notes Cigarran. Comverge, in the years to come, aims at expanding bring your own device (BYOD) capabilities to empower utilities to harness the growing base of third-party thermostats installed in their consumers’ homes, as well add capabilities to control distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, electric vehicles, and storage.