For approximately 15,000 National Grid customers in Worcester, Mass., the energy system of the future is less than a year away – and they helped design it. Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved National Grid’s proposal for a smart grid pilot program in Worcester. The pilot developed in partnership with customers, the City of Worcester and other key parties in a new way that drew heavily on their pooled knowledge and creative energy.
This new approach marked one of the first times a major energy program was co-created with customers, the community and stakeholders from across the city and within the state. All involved worked to develop a program that culminated in September 2011 with the “Green to Growth” Summit that was co-hosted by National Grid and the City of Worcester. During the event, more than 300 members of the community and a cross-section of key groups and individuals helped to develop the Smart Grid program leading to an official proposal.
“We are delighted that the pilot has been approved. We are very grateful to the city, our customers and everyone else who invested their time, energy and creativity to help design this program,” said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts. “We are excited to embark on the next big step of this journey where we will bring our collective vision to life and deliver its benefits to our customers and the city.”
“Worcester is very pleased the Mass. DPU has approved National Grid’s smart grid pilot program,” stated City Manager Michael V. O’Brien. “The pilot’s goal of helping residents and businesses better understand and control their electricity usage, and providing National Grid additional tools to make the electrical system more reliable are priority concerns for the city as well. National Grid’s proactive, inclusive approach to creating and implementing the pilot will likely be a model for others in the state and beyond.”