Online software has already provided 10,000 residential customers with instant, personalized estimates to determine optimal energy solutions, electric rates
Kirkland, Wash., Dec. 2, 2015—Clean Power Research® (www.cleanpower.com) today announced new WattPlan® features that make it possible for residential energy customers to analyze the potential savings from an electric vehicle (EV), a rooftop solar system, or both. WattPlan also helps customers analyze their electric rate options to identify the most cost effective approach.
The WattPlan EV plus solar energy planning tool is available to New York residential customers at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) website. California investor-owned utility customers have access to the EV plus solar WattPlan tool through September 30, 2016 at the California Solar Initiative (CSI) website via a CSI Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RD&D) Program grant. Salt River Project (SRP) customers in Arizona can access their WattPlan EV planning tool directly from the SRP website.
“SRP recognizes that supporting EV adoption can help solve air-quality challenges through the reduction of green-house gas emissions,” said Lori Singleton, director of SRP Emerging Customer Programs. “In addition to the environmental benefits, this website provides valuable information to our customers to help them decide whether an electric vehicle is right for them.”
Informed EV and Solar Decision-making with WattPlan
With minimal user input, WattPlan instantly calculates the potential electric bill impacts and fuel savings of an EV compared to a conventional gas vehicle. Users can select from a complete list of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, and they can fine-tune other assumptions such as the distance they drive, where and when they’ll charge their EV, and the cost of fuel for their conventional vehicle. WattPlan also provides:
- Estimates of federal, state and local incentives.
- Optimal electric rate suggestions, including rates that encourage nighttime EV charging.
- Optimal solar PV system configurations for the user’s rooftop that offset home energy use and EV charging.
- Maps highlighting the selected EV driving range and public charging stations, as well as nearby homes with solar and/or EVs.
“States and utilities see the economic and environmental advantages of plug-in electric vehicles, and are looking for ways to support market adoption,” said Jeff Ressler, president of Software Services at Clean Power Research. “A lack of understanding about the financial and practical aspects of a plug-in electric vehicle can be a barrier to customer adoption. WattPlan makes it easy for customers to explore their electric vehicle options, with or without solar, giving them the personalized decision-making information they need right at their fingertips.”
Bringing Transparency to New Electric Rate Options
Utilities nationwide are adding variety to residential electric rate plans and reconsidering how to value rooftop solar. Peak demand charges, time-of-use rates and alternatives to net-metering are becoming common components of electric rate plans. WattPlan helps customers make sense of these new rate options, and the new savings opportunities they offer:
- By intelligently combining technologies such as solar PV and EVs, and switching to a time-of-use rate, customers can often achieve the greatest overall energy savings.
- For rates that charge customers based on their peak demand (kW), demand control devices can be installed to shift consumption and reduce the demand charge on their electric bill.
- Customers can often realize a better return on their solar investment if they first reduce their electricity consumption through various energy efficiency measures.
WattPlan can model all of these technologies, helping customers understand how their technology choices and electricity use will affect their electric bill.
WattPlan is an interactive, energy planning and guidance tool used by utilities and energy agencies to engage customers with personalized information via the web. Today, more than 20 million residential customers have access to WattPlan calculators, spanning seven states and 28 investor owned utilities, municipalities, cooperatives and political subdivisions. Since launching earlier this year, more than 10,000 customers have utilized WattPlan to answer the question: “Is solar right for me?” Now many can answer the question: “Is an electric vehicle right for me?”
To learn more about WattPlan, read “With Electric Vehicles and Solar, the ‘Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts’” and “Tapping the Win-Win-Win of Rate Reform,” and visit the Clean Power Research press kit.
About Clean Power Research
Clean Power Research is an award-winning innovator, delivering software products that enable customers to optimize financing, operation and integration of solar resources, engage consumers with personalized energy evaluations, and streamline business processes. Since 1998, utilities, government agencies, engineers, developers, manufacturers, installers and financiers have relied on Clean Power Research solutions to power their businesses. Clean Power Research has offices in Napa, Calif., and Kirkland, Wash. For more information, visit www.cleanpower.com.