Mosaic Power manages fleets of water heaters across the Mid-Atlantic power grid. In so doing, the simple electric water heater is elevated to a valuable tool that helps ensure a smarter, cleaner and more reliable electric grid. This, along with revenue-based incentives for customers, is mentioned in the recent UtilityDive article on the vast potential of water heaters.
“When manufacturers see demand from aggregators, they will start making water heating products to meet it,” Dyson said.
Original Equipment Manufacturers may be aggregators, he added. Mosaic Power’s Water Heater Efficiency Network (WHEN) manages nearly 7,000 GIWHs in PJM’s frequency regulation market. Its device attaches to customers’ water heaters and they share revenues generated when Mosaic controls water heating in a way that serves PJM without disrupting customers.
Shared revenue is the key to overcoming customer resistance, Dyson said. An aggregator with access to market earnings can resolve customer reluctance by providing a cost-free or discounted water heater and a share of the market returns. And the entire process can be completely automated.
Shared revenue can also make a grid-enabled water heater the least cost retail purchase option if the aggregator, distributor, or manufacturer subsidizes the purchase to capture the revenue opportunity, Dyson added. “That business model will get over the customer resistance barrier.”
The complete article from Herman K. Trash can be found here -> “Utilities in Hot Water: Realizing the Benefits of Grid Integrated Water Heaters.”
A sidenote to that piece: we now manage more than 15,000 water heaters across five states, providing frequency regulation services that help balance the PJM electric grid.