Behavior Based Efficiency (Home Energy Reports)
Utility Programs: Using Smart Thermostats with Home Energy Reports vs. Not Participating in Utility Program
Services provided by third-party vendors such as home monitoring and energy reports based on smart thermostat data for utilities to use in residential behavior-based energy-saving programs.
EcoFactor, OPower, and EnergyHub are three companies (there may be others) with business models where they work with utilities to provide inexpensive smart thermostats to homeowners and then use information provided by the thermostats plus utility billing data to provide targeted energy management services. Two philosophies are employed. EcoFactor uses their patented modeling tools to analyze individual homes without requiring detailed surveys or in-house data beyond what EcoFactor learns from the thermostat. They implement customized efficiency programs to maximize efficiency without making demands on the homeowner. OPower "reinvents the way utilities interact with customers" through promoting behavior-based efficiency through comparisons with neighbors, provision of energy tips, assisting customers to respond to time-of-use rates, and through engagement with the Smart Grid.
OPower provides periodic Home Energy Reports (HERs) on household energy consumption. These reports compare the energy use of a household to that of neighbors with similar homes and heating/cooling systems and suggest actions the household can take to reduce electricity use. An evaluation for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) indicates energy savings of 2.9% for high consuming households receiving monthly information-only reports. Seattle City light reports a similar 3% reduction in total household energy use. OPower has partnered with Honeywell to use WiFi thermostats to provide additional savings through motivating sustained behavior change. They expect savings of 15% for cooling and 10% for heating.
Many utility demonstrations have focused on demand reductions. A pilot program in Las Vegas using EcoFactor's automated energy management services reduced cooling costs by 13% through providing a peak demand reduction of 3 kW per household.
These approaches provide advantages to the utility as they provide active feedback to customers, assist utilities to target inefficient customers, and validate load reductions in aggregate and at an account level.
Energy Savings: 3%
Energy Savings Rating:
Comprehensive Analysis What's this?
|1||Concept not validated||Claims of energy savings may not be credible due to lack of documentation or validation by unbiased experts.|
|2||Concept validated:||An unbiased expert has validated efficiency concepts through technical review and calculations based on engineering principles.|
|3||Limited assessment||An unbiased expert has measured technology characteristics and factors of energy use through one or more tests in typical applications with a clear baseline. |
|4||Extensive assessment||Additional testing in relevant applications and environments has increased knowledge of performance across a broad range of products, applications, and system conditions. |
|5||Comprehensive analysis||Results of lab and field tests have been used to develop methods for reliable prediction of performance across the range of intended applications.|
|6||Approved measure||Protocols for technology application are established and approved.|