Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) is a power-saving innovation.
CVR lowers energy consumption by reducing the voltage delivered to air conditioners, home appliances and industrial machinery. If you reduce voltage at a customer’s service point, you also reduce the amount of energy they use - with no effect on their daily routines.
Utilities, including BGE, have been using this technology on a limited scale for years to respond to Maryland’s energy goals. In 2008, the state required a 15% reduction in energy consumption and peak demand by 2011, then the Maryland Public Service Commission directed electric utilities to develop CVR programs.
BGE is the first utility in America to deploy this innovation on a large scale.
Smart grid technologies made CVR increasingly cost effective, and BGE pushed its own enhancements forward, too.
The BGE team researched and sampled new equipment. They worked with vendors to find the right technology. BGE is one of the first utilities in the country to start a large-scale CVR deployment.
By the end of 2017, about 40 percent of the BGE electric distribution system will be on CVR, and deployment is expected to continue until 2021. At full deployment, it is expected that CVR will save customers more than 250,000 megawatt-hours of electricity while reducing BGE’s overall peak usage by more than 80 megawatts.
Some important results: lower carbon emissions and lower costs.
"Using less energy has many benefits, including less carbon emissions, less demand on the grid, and less need for investment in power plants and utility infrastructure. It can even mean lower energy bills," said Eric Wedemeyer, Engineering Technician in BGE’s Distribution Automation and Technology Group. "These are brand new technologies that are still being introduced to the industry, and we believe we are a pioneer in the CVR space."