After months of debate, NRDC has joined Dayton Power and Light (DP&L) and a diverse group of energy stakeholders in reaching an agreement this week on a proposal to modernize the local electric grid. The agreement covers a wide array of topics, but clean energy solutions dominate the filing submitted today to the Public Utilities Commission for consideration. This agreement demonstrates the growing role of clean energy in utility system planning and management; improving energy resilience and providing greater control to energy customers.
The agreement includes new investments in advanced electric meters that will increase access to critical data that service providers can use to give residential customers greater flexibility and control over their energy use. One new program will allow interested customers to control their energy consumption through the use of smart thermostats, enabling them to reduce consumption during times of the day when power costs are high. This will make it easier for customers to lower their electric bills and reduce their carbon footprints.
For DP&L customers who choose an alternative energy supplier, data sharing with the company will be simplified. This will open up new avenues for customers to tailor their energy experience to their own needs and provide new opportunities to lower electric bills.
For customers who are thinking about an electric vehicle (EV), there is more good news. DP&L has agreed to invest up to $5.1 million dollars in a new rebate program that will help reduce the cost of any EV charging infrastructure improvements needed at customers’ homes or businesses. This will help customers charge up at home so they can start each day with a ‘full tank’! Rebates for EV charging in the agreement reach as high as 100% of the customer’s out-of-pocket installation costs. According to the agreement, DP&L will target a portion of the rebates toward multi-unit dwellings, making EV adoption easier for those customers and will also be establishing alternative fuel corridors to reduce the “range anxiety” that new electric vehicle drivers might feel when traveling longer distances.
The agreement also contains provisions that better equip the City of Dayton to provide essential services to its residents. This includes energy upgrade opportunities for small businesses and economic development incentives that provide needed assistance as companies respond to the ongoing pandemic, including programs to help low income customers reduce their energy burdens.
The City of Dayton and DP&L are also teaming up to pursue two solar projects that will serve the city’s water treatment facilities and the company will also be working with IGS Solar—a competitive energy supplier—to help facilitate at least 2MW of additional solar projects in the DP&L service territory, providing shareholder funds to support the development. That is enough solar capacity to power hundreds of homes!
NRDC and DP&L have also agreed to partner on an effort to explore energy resilience strategies that could benefit Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the surrounding communities. The growing threat to the electric grid from climate-induced severe weather impacts or cyber-attacks has made energy resilience an increasingly important topic for the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense. DP&L has committed $250,000 of shareholder money to aid in the evaluation and pursuit of projects that improve energy resilience, with a focus on clean energy solutions. These projects would help ensure that critical facilities like the base—and the surrounding community—are better able to withstand any future grid disruptions.
This agreement provides numerous examples of the role that clean energy solutions have in the modern electric grid while maintaining DP&L’s status of providing the lowest average electric bills in the state. The agreement has been placed before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for consideration and you can voice your support for this clean energy progress by submitting a comment to the PUCO here.