Technological progress is making appliances and other electric devices ever more efficient. Power plant retirements and renewable development will continue to reduce the environmental effect of the electric system.
These two converging trends are making one thing very clear: electricity is a smart choice.
“As the electric system continues to become cleaner and more efficient, there is growing support for using electricity in new ways,” said Great River Energy Member Services and Marketing Director Gary Connett. “Encouraging the smart use of electricity, which we and others have termed environmentally beneficial electrification, will improve the way cooperatives serve members.”
Great River Energy continues to offer its RevoltSM program, which allows electric vehicle drivers to charge their cars entirely with wind energy at no added cost. Its member-owner cooperatives offer a catalog of programs that incentivize energy efficiency retrofits ranging from LED lighting to ground-source heat pumps.
In partnership with its member-owner cooperatives, Great River Energy also works to attract economic development through financial support and unique energy solutions.
Cooperatives are also leading the charge on community energy storage, which employs common household appliances to provide critical services the electric grid needs.
“While others work to build a better conventional battery, we are seeking ways to store energy by combining everyday appliances with the precise intelligence now possible through the smarter electric grid,” added Connett.
Connett serves as chair of the Community Storage Initiative, which unites more than 40 organizations – including utilities, manufacturers and technology suppliers – in the pursuit of energy storage solutions through the aggregation of resources like water heaters and electric vehicles.