SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif., June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Now that summer is here, utilities and their customers are anxious to see the results of "smart grid" investments reflected in monthly bills. What they're finding is that it doesn't always take a multimillion-dollar subsidy or a high-tech smart grid for utilities to reduce their power usage and the associated costs. Sometimes it just takes a little imagination and a cell phone.
Northeast Nebraska Public Power District (NNPPD) was determined to reduce the costs of generating, buying and distributing power during their summertime peak load periods. The utility serves farmers that use lots of power pumping and spraying huge amounts of water for irrigation. The fastest route to reduced use, NNPPD figured, was to encourage customers to reduce consumption during the periods of highest demand and cost. If they could incentivize their customers to shift their usage, they could avoid the much higher cost of power during these peak load times.
The problem was that customers needed real-time information to act before getting charged premium rates for high usage periods - where the peak charge time periods varied day-to-day. But through the use of "SmartAlerts(TM)" sent to standard cell phones, NNPPD empowered their customers with simple, actionable information ... and were rewarded with a 64% reduction in peak power usage.
By working closely with TextPower, Inc., the company that developed SmartAlerts(TM) solutions for businesses, NNPPD was able to quickly implement an alerting service for their customers that gave them advance notice of each day's peak rate windows. And, because the system sends text alerts to the users' standard cell phones instead of relying on computers, smart phones or unproven technology, it was quickly adopted by hundreds of NNPPD large irrigator customers. While these customers make up a small percentage of the overall base, they collectively purchase more than 50% of the total consumption during the summer months.
According to Scott Abraham, NNPPD's system manager, "We regularly measured a reduced load of over 50% during these high-cost load periods following notification to our irrigation customers."
Mark Nielsen, co-founder and Executive Chairman of TextPower, responded with praise for NNPPD, "The SmartAlerts(TM) engine allows easy, inexpensive deployment to send messages either individually or in bulk. NNPPD's application is a smart approach to keeping their costs down and making their customers happy in the process."
"We are extremely happy with the curtailment results we experienced using TextPower's messaging services this past summer, and look forward to improving our results this season," said NNPPD's Mr. Abraham.
A complete case study detailing what NNPPD did and the subsequent results is available at http://bit.ly/UtilityCaseStudy
About TextPower, Inc.
TextPower, Inc. (http://www.textpower.com) is a California-based company providing business solutions using text messaging. The company's platform incorporates vertical market software and text messaging (SMS) gateway services that allow companies to utilize SmartAlerts(TM) to improve operations, increase revenues, decrease costs and improve customer loyalty.
TextPower's software solutions are available for various vertical markets (including performance venues, utilities, field service companies and hotels/convention centers) and provide both simple web-based applications and highly sophisticated interfaces (via API and SOAP) to enterprises, municipalities, educational institutions and emergency response organizations. The company offers mission-critical-level redundancy, avalanche-level throughput and connectivity to virtually every cell phone user in the United States and international connections to the most recognized wireless operators around the world. Visit TextPower.com, email Info@TextPower.com or call 888.818.1808 for more information.
For more information contact:
Julie Dodd Thomas, TextPower, Inc.
SOURCE TextPower, Inc.