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[January 31, 2013]
Honeywell and Opower introduce new Energy Management Platform
Jan 31, 2013 (Datamonitor via COMTEX) -- Honeywell International, Inc. and Opower have introduced a new Energy Management Platform which reportedly merges demand response and energy-efficiency programs for utilities to streamline deployment and management, and boost overall results.
The Energy Management Platform combines Honeywell's Wi-Fi thermostat and Akuacom utility management software with Opower's interactive, cloud-based application to give homeowners the ability to view and adjust energy use from anywhere via smartphone or the Web.
Honeywell and Opower are currently testing the platform in a trial with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). As part of the trial, Honeywell and Opower are recruiting participants and installing more than 500 free thermostats to validate energy savings, said Honeywell.
According to the company, the goal is to gauge customer acceptance of and experience with the technology. The program is also intended to confirm the savings that are realistic for customers in PG&E's diverse service area against the hypothesis that the thermostat and app will help save up to 5 percent of whole-house electricity and gas use. The trial will conclude in the first quarter of 2014, but PG&E has garnered initial findings, which were published in a recent report. So far, customers find the technology accessible and intuitive, and use it to actively manage comfort and consumption.
"As separate efforts, demand response and efficiency programs can offer significant benefits to utilities and customers, but it's typically been hard to measure and verify their effectiveness," said Alex Kinnier, senior vice president of Product Management at Opower. "By combining these efforts and providing a way to help utilities generate real, measurable savings, we've created a new, more cost-effective and capable model." "Program participation can't be a one-way proposition," said Jeremy Eaton, vice president and general manager of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions. "To maximize enrollment, utilities must provide real, tangible benefits to consumers. We're bridging the gap by providing mobility, relatable energy information, precise control and other features customers want so utilities can reach deeper levels of connectivity and participation."
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