Great news for residential solar customers and electric car owners alike, Con Edison will be providing a new device that makes it easier to power homes with solar energy and charge electric cars. Best of all, the device will be offered free of charge, allowing customers to avoid the cost of upgrading their circuit breaker panel.
Known as the ConnectDER - DER stands for Distributed Energy Resources - the device either accepts energy from rooftop solar or sends electricity from the meter box to an EV charger, without any alterations to the entry panel. Simply put, the device connects to both the meter and the solar panels/charger, acting as something of a middleman.
Not only does this simplify the interconnection process for EV owners and solar customers, it also offers the potential for huge savings. Without ConnectDER, an upgrade to the circuit breaker panel could cost as much as $2,500. Instead, Con Edison, who have 3.5 million customers across New York City and Westchester County, are offering this device, free of charge, following a two-year trial period on Staten Island.
In addition, the device will also collect data and send it back to Con Edison. The utilities company will then use the gathered information to determine the best course of action when it comes to investments and building a more efficient energy grid.
By Shane Croghan