Unitil’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions continues to be a top priority as the fundamental architecture of the electric grid advances. Originally designed for the one-way flow of power from centralized generating plants, the grid of the future must accommodate two-way power flow and enhance energy efficiency.
At Unitil, the advanced electric grid we envision will give our customers greater control over their energy use, enable distributed renewable energy resources, and enhance system reliability and security. Our success depends on the continued focus on five key areas: advanced metering, grid intelligence, distributed energy, enhanced customer services, and innovative rate design.
The information age has given us the ability to have any data we can think of in the palm of our hands on demand. Timely and user-friendly data starts with a metering system that can accurately and automatically gather and store usage data. Advanced metering is the foundation of a smarter energy system that can facilitate powerful new technologies for rooftop solar, home energy storage and electric vehicle charging. By investing in metering which facilitates two-way communication and the capability to record consumption at 15-minute intervals, we can enable time-of-use rate pricing to encourage customer investments in smart-home technologies.
The transition from a one-way flow of electricity to a dynamic bi-directional network demands faster sensing and greater control. To that end, Unitil has implemented a state-of-the-art software platform that integrates a comprehensive set of monitoring, analysis, control, planning, and informational tools that work together to provide real-time status and control of the distribution system and its resources.
By linking devices capable of gathering and recording information, we have improved overall system security and efficiency and reduced outage frequency and duration. The further integration of variable or intermittent resources enhances grid flexibility and supports the continued interconnection of clean distributed energy resources.
Unitil supports our customers’ efforts to safely and efficiently incorporate distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar into their home or business. The installation of a utility-scale battery storage system in our Massachusetts service area has the ability to serve more than 1,300 homes for over two hours and is designed to reduce peak loading on the substation equipment, as well as provide voltage and frequency regulation to the market. We continue to evaluate opportunities to install utility-scale energy storage in areas of the system that may benefit from the additional capacity.
The growing array of grid-connected alternative energy resources support a grid that is more efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly, effectively transforming the nature of electricity distribution from a passive delivery system to a more dynamic system as consumers and generators participate in new and emerging markets. To date, Unitil has successfully integrated over 3,600 interconnections within our service territories.
More than 90% of Unitil customers surveyed positively rated the electric and gas service they receive from us.
Enhanced Customer Services
Superior customer service is fundamental to Unitil’s vision, mission, and values, and the company continues to garner high levels of satisfaction by recognizing our customers’ increasingly diverse and complex needs. Our energy efficiency programs help customers make smart financial decisions by reducing energy usage during periods of peak demand, in turn reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the communities we serve.
Unitil continues to invest in technology designed to support our commitment to strong customer satisfaction, with self-service web portal enhancements that enable customers to better manage their energy usage and accounts. These enhancements include a mobile app, artificial intelligence and chat features, and a robust notification engine to proactively alert customers regarding payment activity, increases in usage, outages, and scheduled appointments.
Innovative Rate Design
Unitil’s overarching rate design objective adheres to the principles of fairness, transparency, and economic efficiency. By encouraging appropriate efficiency behaviors and assuring equity throughout our service area, we enable customers to more effectively manage their energy needs.
Time-of-use and distributed generation rate structures give customers the opportunity to adopt new technologies, manage their energy consumption, and actively participate in energy markets to enhance efficient utilization and consumption of electricity, save money, and benefit the environment.
- Today’s gas and electric consumers have greater insight into their energy use, thanks to improved technologies and advanced tools to aid in decision making.
- Unitil’s investment in emerging technologies is crucial in reducing carbon emissions and giving consumers greater control of their energy consumption.
- Unitil supports our customers’ efforts to safely and efficiently incorporate distributed energy resources into their home or business.