During the September 2022 heat wave, MCE Sync automatically reduced customers' electric vehicle charging by as much as 96 percent during peak times—proving that in addition to lowering carbon emissions, smart vehicle charging can help prevent blackouts and save the grid.
MCE’s Peak FLEXmarket, MCE Sync and ev.energy
MCE is a not-for-profit, public agency that has been setting the standard for clean energy in California since 2010.
MCE’s Peak FLEXmarket, powered by Recurve, pays customers to shift or reduce their electricity use in the summer during peak hours of 4-9 p.m. and during demand response events when the grid is most constrained. Peak FLEXmarket uses meter data and analytics to accurately calculate hourly energy savings. Customers earn the most when the grid has the greatest need, like during a demand response event.
In November 2021, MCE partnered with ev.energy, a global provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging software, to launch MCE Sync, a free mobile app that provides a hassle-free way for customers to charge their EVs off-peak and save money without any special hardware.
From August 31 to September 9, the California grid operator (CAISO) issued daily Flex Alerts asking residents to reduce energy consumption between 4 pm and 9 pm. In response, the Peak FLEXmarket issued dispatches to MCE Sync which automatically reduced customers' EV charging by as much as 96 percent, helping California prevent blackouts. Ninety-eight percent of the app users participated and, ultimately, MCE Sync reduced energy consumption from EV charging by over 5 MWh over the 10-day period—the equivalent to the average daily energy usage for almost 300 households. Drivers will receive cash compensation for their participation.
"MCE is committed to advancing electric transportation programs that make EVs and EV charging affordable, accessible and renewably powered," said Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE. "MCE Sync is a great example of how community choice aggregators (CCAs) can help drivers save money on their EV charging while effortlessly supporting grid reliability."
"MCE Sync is a great example of how community choice aggregators (CCAs) can help drivers save money on their EV charging while effortlessly supporting grid reliability."
— Dawn Weisz, CEO of MCE
Marin County resident and MCE customer Lydia Vignau uses MCE Sync to charge her Tesla Model 3. "I am happy to do my part to help balance the grid," she said. "I [trust] MCE with my data because it is being used to help balance the grid, the app is reliable, and my car is ready when I need it."
"I am happy to do my part to help balance the grid."
—Lydia Vignau, MCE Customer
The ability to reduce energy consumption at critical times is an invaluable resource to help the state avoid outages. Shifting EV charging out of peak hours will become even more important as California prepares to ban the sale of combustion-engine vehicles beginning in 2035.