Testing New Technologies to Better Manage Energy Use

Our subsidiary, Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), is testing a new method of controlling high energy usage during the summer months. MGE’s pilot program, through a partnership with Nest, will test the use of smart thermostats to reduce the demand for electricity.

Nest thermostats

When temperatures climb, the demand for electricity increases. During these peak periods of electric use, MGE must use the maximum capacity of electric generation, transmission facilities and distribution lines to serve the needs of all customers. Reducing peak demand can help control costs for customers in the long run.

Smart thermostats can analyze data to automatically adjust how heating and cooling systems operate. Since Nest thermostats can be controlled remotely through communication technologies, the program will allow MGE, with customers' permission, to set parameters, make minor temperature adjustments and report on participating air conditioner responses.

As part of our Energy 2030 framework, MGE is advancing new technologies that give customers more control over their energy use. This pilot, open to 500 residential customers, will help MGE better understand the potential for reducing electric peaks using smart technologies.