What is the Connected Home and Small Business Demonstration?
The Connected Home and Small Business Demonstration (Demonstration) offers 200 residential and small business BGE customers in Annapolis, MD connected technologies with the goal of evaluating the potential for reduction in electricity usage and customer bills. In addition to evaluating energy use and potential savings, BGE would like to better understand which of these connected devices are most effective and which are preferred by customers. The Demonstration is entirely voluntary and Annapolis residents and small business owners that meet certain criteria can sign up on a first come, first serve basis.
What is BGE’s Annapolis Connected Community?
BGE designated Annapolis as its first Connected Community in 2019 to address various community challenges and opportunities, such as testing smart lighting capability, deploying environmental sensors, and building electric vehicle infrastructure, among others. This close collaboration is an example of an innovative approach that BGE is taking to work with local stakeholders to deliver the premier customer experience in energy, maximize the electric grid’s value, and power a cleaner and brighter future for our customers and communities.
What do you mean by Demonstration?
We are calling this limited technology trial a “Demonstration” because we are demonstrating different technology solutions in different environments.
The Demonstration refers to a limited technology trial that BGE is launching to better understand the effectiveness of connected technologies in homes and small businesses. Interested customers who meet the criteria to participate will be offered connected technologies at no cost in exchange for engaging with BGE to help the utility understand customer reaction to the technology. They will also receive professional installation of a smart thermostat. Participants will be asked to complete surveys and participate in focus groups. BGE will also be comparing participants’ energy use to historical data from prior years. Energy use information will not be shared publicly and meter data is information that BGE already has access to as the local energy provider.
How long is the Demonstration?
The Demonstration will have two phases. Due to recent social distancing restrictions we are limited from doing professional installation for the time being, so Phase I will focus on self-installers and online education. Phase II of the program will be expanded to include a larger number of customers that will benefit from professional installation and in-person training.
Phase I begins in Spring 2020. Phase II is currently scheduled for later in the year.
What are the Journeys you refer to in the materials?
We use the word “Journey” to describe a specific customer experience. There will be four experiences that are measured and evaluated as part of the Demonstration. The Journeys are described in the section below titled “Description of Journeys” and all contain different technology packages.
Do I Qualify?
If you are a BGE customer and have been for the past 3 years, have Internet connectivity and a smartphone, you may qualify. For participants over the age of 55, a smartphone is not required. For a more detailed description of the 4 journeys, see section titled “Description of Journeys” below. Participation is on a first come first serve basis.
How Can I Sign Up?
You can visit connectedannapolis.com to sign up or call 1-855-81-CONNECT (1-855-812-6663).
Do I need to have Internet Access?
Yes. At the moment, all four “Journeys” need to have dedicated WiFi with an ethernet connection to work properly. We are evaluating alternative options for those customers that may not have Internet access in the home.
Do I need to have a smartphone?
You must have an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet to participate in the Demonstration. Journey 4 will be supplied with a tablet.
What technologies will I receive?
The technology you receive depends on the journey you qualify for. Please see the “Description of Journeys” below to see what technologies are available.
Do I have to install the technology myself?
Because of COVID-19-related restrictions, at this time the Demonstration is supporting participant self-installations only. We are committed to supporting you during this period through online videos, telephone tech support and web-based online tutorials.
Is there an app associated with the Demonstration?
Yes, you can download the “Connected Annapolis” app by visiting connectedannapolis.com.
What is required of me?
In exchange for the free technology and support, we ask participants to participate in a few surveys and join a focus group, if possible.
Will my data be kept private?
Do I get to keep the technology after the Demonstration is over?
Yes, you can keep the technology after the Demonstration is over.
Will technical support continue after the Demonstration is over?
Continued technical support may no longer continue after the Demonstration is over. Customers can keep all of their technology and receive options for continued support at the completion of the Demonstration. However, the technology will continue to function as normal. The technology will also be able to be controlled through the Amazon Alexa app.
If you are not satisfied with the technology, please call 1-855-81-CONNECT (1-855-812-6663) and press option 3 or email email@example.com. If you no longer want to participate in the Demonstration, you can simply stop using the app and technology. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I have a technical problem?
If you have a problem with your technology, please call 1-855-81-CONNECT (1-855-812-6663) and press option 2 or email email@example.com.
Where can I go for more information?
You can visit connectedannapolis.com to learn more about the Demonstration or call 1-855-81-CONNECT (1-855-812-6663) and press option 3.
Description of Journeys in the Demonstration