Reforming the Energy Vision and Re-thinking the Energy Bill in New York

Reforming the Energy Vision

Photo Courtesy of Sealed.

As part of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) demonstration projects, Sealed has partnered with National Grid in a “Re-Thinking the Energy Bill” project to demonstrate better ways to bill customers for energy and energy efficiency.

Under the program, customers are offered a number of options for opting into different plans, ranging from a base plan to platinum, silver and gold plans, explained Andy Frank, founder and president of Sealed.

In this project, Sealed is demonstrating its model, which provides homeowners with energy efficiency measures, then guarantees the savings. Generally, Sealed becomes the billing agent, paying the energy bills and then charging the customers an amount that’s guaranteed to be less than what they’d normally pay. The amount they pay is based on savings expected from installing efficiency measures.

Under the project, however, National Grid will do the billing, providing the guaranteed savings.

To date, Sealed has been delivering savings on heating bills ranging from 20 percent to 30 percent, said Frank.

The payback depends in part on how the measures are financed, he said. Most customers finance the efficiency work.

“Customers either have net savings, meaning the savings exceed the cost of the loan payments or they have a net cost; they put money directly into the house and get comfort.” Some customers invest in energy efficiency because they want to make their homes more comfortable, less drafty or cold, he added.

The payback on the Sealed program generally runs 5 to 15 years, he noted.

Right now, Sealed is refining its savings calculations.

“In order to make this all work, you have to calculate expected savings from all the different improvements. That’s what we’ve been building,” he said.

The New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering announced that Sealed and Smarter Grid Solutions — two companies affiliated with its incubators — are participating in the REV demonstration projects.

“Both companies are affiliated with the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Resiliency Economy (NYC ACRE), located within the Urban Future Lab – NYC’s premier facilities for the cleantech and energy community, supporting company formation and showcasing innovation – in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NY SERDA),” said a press release.

What are your thoughts on rethinking utility bills? Let us know your thoughts on this Reforming the Energy Vision initiative. Post below or on our LinkedIn Group, Energy Efficiency Markets.

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