NRG Energy: Sustainable Solutions for Customers

Jun 17, 2019 7:10 AM ET
Article

Read the full report at: www.nrg.com/sustainability

In this section, we dive into the sustainable solutions we bring to customers through our residential and business teams. These include ongoing initiatives and plans, as well as specific projects and goals we achieved in 2018. 

Business Solutions

For commercial and industrial clients, our Business Solutions team delivers energy solutions that meet renewable energy goals — while also expanding the definition of sustainability to include resiliency, reliability, control, and cost savings. By integrating technology and knowledge in a customized approach, we can bring multiple benefits and more impactful energy options to enterprise customers. This includes developing comprehensive digital tools that better track and report on power and giving customers access to our team of energy experts. Our experts help them plan for shifts in the market and provide education on emerging energy technologies. 

In 2018, we sought feedback from our Business Solutions customers about the value of NRG sustainability leadership in our sector. A customer survey indicated that while economic value is paramount, 70% of customers said having a choice of sustainable products and services is important when choosing a provider. Satisfaction with the availability of sustainability products in our portfolio remained high, and rose slightly from 2017. In addition, customers indicated interest in sustainability-oriented products and services such as energy efficiency and off-site renewable energy, as well as sustainable energy advising. Research in progress will shed light on how customers prioritize action on reliability and resiliency, as well as how NRG products and services can support our customers to advance their energy goals. Ultimately, these solutions are designed to drive impact in an increasingly environmentally aware market. 

Our digital evolution

We see our customers searching for more decarbonized, customizable, and digitally based programs, and our Business Solutions team has created tools and solutions to meet their needs. Our demand response programs start with a simple premise: use less energy at times of peak grid usage and get paid for doing so. Now, digitization is making it even better by bringing a highly advanced metering platform to every demand response solution we develop. Our real-time energy monitoring, available through NRG’s Active Management Platform (AMP), brings a deeper knowledge of how and when energy is used. From here, it becomes possible to reduce demand from more carbonintensive resources. When the time comes to curtail, reduction measures take place with little or no impact on daily operations. 

In 2018, we began implementing even more advanced digital tools for demand response customers. These new tools support bigger, more integrated energy systems with natural gas back-up generators, alternative energy sources, and battery storage systems, known as asset-backed demand response. These solutions can all be housed on-site and coordinated by intelligent management systems. So if the grid becomes less stable or grid prices go up, these resources can be instantly activated. This provides enhanced resiliency, greater reliability, and added control over outside costs.

Our Network Operations Center, also known as the NOC, located in Buffalo, New York, serves as the home base for our demand response business. We constantly monitor energy conditions as they are evolving so customers can respond in real time to curtail power use and stabilize the grid. This real time curtailment prevents higher-cost plants from being brought online and even allows us to use existing generation rather than building new plants to meet energy needs. But our digital options also extend beyond demand response. For example, when we enacted the Online Account Management platform, its initial function was to provide current customers access to billing information. However, it quickly became an opportunity for customers to view market trends and energy use to assess their spend and make smarter energy choices. Both these digital tools offer a broader view of energy and empower customers to view their own data in a way that makes sense to them.

Read the full report at: www.nrg.com/sustainability