New Mobile App Offers Smart Grid Savings

Smart grid programs are proliferating, and now, there’s a smartphone application designed to make cashing in on smart energy incentives easier for commercial customers. The VirtuWatt app from Constellation Energy is a mobile platform designed to allow Constellation Energy customers to monitor their power usage and manage their participation in load response programs that offer compensation for reducing energy use during periods of peak demand.

VirtuWatt offers statistics on real time energy usage while helping to spot trends and patterns useful in reducing energy usage, as well as up-to-date information on electricity market pricing. This allows users to pinpoint opportunities to shift energy consumption in ways that will not only lower costs, but allow them to bid out their electricity usage reductions directly into the energy and ancillary service markets in return for kickbacks from grid operators. According to Constellation Energy, this first-of-its-kind app can significantly reduce energy costs for commercial electricity users.


image via Constellation Energy

The VirtuWatt mobile app is an extension of the existing online VirtuWatt service, designed to help Constellation Energy customers maximize the financial benefits of load response programs while making participation and compliance easier. Apparently, users of the service–primarily, energy managers and operations executives–were already using smartphones to access the VirtuWatt portal, so the new mobile app was designed to optimize the experience for mobile devices, offering more flexibility and responsiveness.

“We know that energy decisions aren’t always made near a computer or during normal business hours, so extending VirtuWatt’s mobility through an app was a natural evolution for our energy management solution,” said Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Constellation NewEnergy senior vice president of load response, in a statement. “The VirtuWatt app gives our customers all of the tools and data necessary to manage and optimize their energy consumption from virtually any location.” The app is currently available for the iPhone and and iPod Touch, with Android and Blackberry versions coming soon.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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