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Delta Institute Teams Up With Nonprofit Watttime To Launch Smart Thermostat Pilot

Wouldn’t you like to set your thermostat to “clean power mode”, and rest easy knowing that you are powering your household from clean energy sources? Us too. And with funding from The Great Lakes Protection Fund, Delta Institute, Berkeley nonprofit WattTime, and smart technology maker Energate are piloting a new, smart thermostat technology that will help you do that. This spring, the team launched a pilot for Chicago residents offering Energate smart thermostats enabled with WattTime software, which will give participating households the ability to increase the amount of clean power they use, reducing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants…

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Energate Offers Latest in Energy Management Tech

Executive VP describes new benefits, old roadblocks Demand management technology and services firm Energate has a new remote-control switch platform it is selling to utilities that lets individual switches respond to price information, Executive VP of Marketing & Product Management Louis Szablya told us in a recent exclusive interview. That product is not yet available for direct sale to the public, though the firm sells other devices including its HolHom line of products such as a smart thermostat online, he added. The new price-responsive switch platform can use the Ingenu IOT network, Szablya said. Ingenu was formerly called On-Ramp Wireless…

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Riding Herd on the Energy Hogs

A new London Hydro initiative taps smart meters and third-party devices and software to give homeowners a detailed breakdown of how much energy their appliances are using in real time. By Robert Way, Special to The Free Press Like a child prodigy stuck in an un-inspiring classroom, that shiny new digital smart meter installed in your home five years ago likely isn’t working to its full potential. The meters that monitor household electricity consumption by the hour, and were supposed to lead to energy bill savings through better consumer cost awareness, have largely been underutilized since their inception 10 years…

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Texas Energy Retailer TriEagle Offers Energy Management

TriEagle Energy is working with local T&D utilities and providers of energy management systems in Texas to help power consumers reduce power use via in-home devices that are free for some low-income families, the energy retailer told the press last week.  In-home displays and smart thermostats interact with smart meters from Energate to give consumers real-time energy-use data, it added. The firm is a unit of Crius Energy and specializes in commercial and small industrial business it said. The devices help educate consumers on how much power they have used and what it is costing them, the firm noted.  Smart…

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Reduce your use to save energy and money

Join thousands of households who are reducing Peterborough's demand for electricity by Matt Higgs Published August 20, 2015, KawarthNOW.com While many doubt the forecasting ability of those who predict the weather for months ahead of time, the summer forecast that was issued several months ago was spot on for Ontario. “Similar to last summer, hot weather at 30°C and above will not dominate the summer. There will, however, still be numerous days with high temperatures in the mid to upper 20s across the south and in the low to mid 20s across central and northern regions,” the Weather Network reported.…

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Energate in the Top Ten

Navigant Research Leaderboard Report: Smart Thermostats: Assessment of Strategy and Execution for 12 Smart Thermostat Hardware, Software, and Services Vendors for Utility and Commercial Markets NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The market for communicating and smart thermostats has exploded with activity since the last publication of this report in 2013. The technology was introduced in the late 2000s and has since evolved through an early technology adoption phase into a stable and growing market. The year 2015 has seen significant activity in the form of partnerships, international expansion, technological growth, and more conclusive evidence of cost-effectiveness. Collaborations between…

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Big brains behind a little wall screen – Home thermostats welcomed into the 21st Centrury

Excerpt from 'Big brains behind a little wall screen' Electrical Business Magazine, August 2015, page 16 by Renée Francoeur Real-time energy use When you’re driving your vehicle, you can gauge how well you’re doing on gas consumption based on the odometer. “We don’t have that built into our homes,” observes Louis Szablya, executive vice-president of sales & marketing with Energate. “So we offer the equivalent of a car’s speedometer to a home... homeowners then have a gas pedal and the brake to control the energy use.” Energate, which provides energy management solutions for utilities trying to manage their peaks, has now branched into the residential sphere, marketing its HolHom (“whole home”)…

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Dynamic Pricing Intended to Give Customers a New Cost Advantage

By Daniel Carr, Manager, Smart Grid Projects, PowerStream An innovative pilot being run by PowerStream is providing participating customers with a dynamic new way of managing their electricity costs – one with the potential to provide significant savings to the grid and to customers. Participants are being given the information and tools they need to adjust their electricity consumption and costs in response to actual provincial electricity demand on a given day. Supported in part by the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund, and Energate Inc.’s Consumer Connected Demand Response platform, Advantage Power Pricing is a voluntary and dynamic…

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Queen’s Park kicks in cash for ‘power’ pilot project

PowerStream has teamed up with a private sector tech firm to test out what they’re hoping proves to be a bright idea for saving you money. And the province has kicked in $1.35 million toward the $3.5-million pilot project, dubbed Advantage Power Pricing, by the local utility company and Ottawa-based Energate Inc. “It is all about partnerships,” said Steven Del Duca, Vaughan MPP and Minister of Transportation, during a funding announcement Friday morning at PowerStream’s head office in Maple. “This is how we build strong communities. It’s how we build a strong economy. It’s certainly how we promote and continue to…

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Supporting Energy Innovation in Vaughan

Ontario Funding Innovative Smart Grid Project  Ontario is building a smarter electricity grid by funding projects that will allow residents to monitor and control their electricity consumption in response to dynamic pricing schedules. Ottawa-based Energate has been offered support from Ontario’s Smart Grid Fund program to test a customer driven peak- reduction solution that will use programmable residential thermostats to monitor and control electricity demand in response to dynamic pricing schedules set by the collaborating utility. Energate has partnered with PowerStream to offer ‘Advantage Power Pricing,’ a dynamic pricing program currently being piloted to residential customers throughout PowerStream’s service territory,…

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Revisiting the 10 Home Energy Management Trends for 2013

This is probably a really bad idea, but I am taking the risk to revisit how I did in predicting home energy trends in December 2012 in Smart Grid News. I said that 2013 was poised to be a breakthrough year for residential demand response (RDR).  Was it?  Well I have to leave that up to you to assess, but a number of items were positive.  We saw increased interest by consumers in smart home technologies that increased awareness of in home monitoring, including energy.  What's more, OG&E’s program was identified as the largest smart grid program in the world,…

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It Takes an Ecosystem: Successful Residential DR Requires Stakeholder Cooperation

Philosopher George Santayana in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason famously observed: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  Although residential demand response (DR) is a relatively new area of endeavor, it does have a past, and that past has already yielded some real successes and resulting proven practices.  But the relatively poor results in some residential DR programs clearly demonstrate that either these lessons have not been learned, or they are not being applied effectively. In other words: While these are not uncharted waters for the industry, they apparently remain so for…

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Will high pump prices affect utility customer behavior at home?

With $5.00 gas a reality in some parts of the country, the pain at the pump is starting to make consumers more aware of the energy they use while driving, and likely will change some wasteful habits. People already are trying to economize—not driving when they can avoid it, planning necessary trips more efficiently, and taking greater advantage of public transportation. And some might buy—or at least consider buying—a more fuel-efficient vehicle, or even an electric vehicle (EV). But how much will such consciousness-raising extend to other forms of energy consumption—both at the office and at home? And does the…

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Three Steps to Saving Energy—and Money

In 2009, Tucker House in cooperation with community and environmental organizations in the Ottawa area, conducted a “Get Energy Smart!” campaign that provided a comprehensive set of recommendations for how people could lower their carbon footprints and save money in the process.  The effort addressed all aspects of life, including transportation, food, heating and electricity.  At the time, the programmable thermostat was the most advanced means of managing energy in homes.  Since then, smart thermostats and home energy gateways have dramatically increased the savings that can be achieved by energy-smart consumers. This article provides an update to the previous “Get…

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Do Home Buyers Really Care About Home Energy Management?

The short answer is no… but they soon will.  Most people now take electricity for granted—until there is an outage.  And most home buyers are currently unlikely to understand (or even care about) what a kilowatt-hour or a British thermal unit is.  Some may want to conserve energy, but are at a loss to really know which ones are having the most beneficial effect.  Nearly all people do, however, care about saving money, and a growing number also care about saving the planet. There is a significant change coming, however, that will make home energy management an important aspect of…

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10 Home Energy Management Trends for 2013

2013 is poised to be a breakthrough year for residential demand response (DR) and home energy management (HEM).  Here are my predictions for what we might expect. Base electricity prices will stay relatively low owing to natural gas prices remaining low, but gasoline prices will continue to be volatile throughout the year.  The combination is likely to support ongoing interest in and sales of electric vehicles. The U.S. economy will grow through 2013, and demand for electricity will grow with it.  If the summer witnesses higher than normal temperatures, DR will become critically important.  Maybe even a repeat of California’s…

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Breaking Down the Barriers to Residential Demand Response

Demand response has been identified by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as a “killer application” for the smart grid.  With residential and small commercial customers consuming 80% of the electricity used in buildings (excluding industrial facilities), there is significant potential for reducing peak demand.  Yet despite the upside benefit, residential demand response programs remain stuck in the pilot stage at nearly all utilities. Most utilities are progressing slowly on residential demand response because the barriers just seem to be too great.  But every one of the perceived barriers to residential DR—whether technical or regulatory, or whether involving consumer adoption…

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Residential Demand Response in Peterborough, Ontario

Peterborough Distribution Inc., a local distribution company in the province of Ontario, Canada, is part of the Peterborough Utilities Group (www.peterboroughutilities.ca), which has been providing electricity and water services for residents and businesses in the City of Peterborough for nearly 90 years.  When the Ontario government opened the electricity market to competition in 2000, the utility was able to add electricity generation, energy equipment rental, and commercial metering services in Peterborough and the surrounding area. In 2006, the Minister of Energy directed the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to implement a residential energy conservation and demand-side management (CDM) program.  The directive…

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Smart Home Energy Management with or without the Smart Meter

A recent report by The Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Efficiency estimated that about 27 million smart meters had been installed in the U.S. as of September 2011, representing approximately 22 percent of U.S. households. The report also estimates that just over half of all U.S. households (54 percent) will have a smart meter by the end of 2015. Given the growing desire by utilities to reduce peak demand, and by consumers to save money by controlling energy utilization more effectively, is there anything that can be done for today’s underserved and unserved majority of residential customers now? Long before…

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Customer Portals: 11 Lessons for Making It Educational and Engaging

Utilities have long communicated with their customers through printed materials that accompany the monthly statement.  Although this is necessary (and often required by regulations), it is no longer sufficient.  Customers now expect (and even demand) to communicate via the Internet with all of their service providers, including their utilities.  Indeed, the customer portal is destined to become the primary means of engaging consumers with the smart grid, as well as the user interface to existing customer information systems. The top two smart grid priorities for utilities, according to a recent GTM Research survey are reducing peak demand and improving energy…

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ZigBee 101

ZigBee has become the dominant utility-requested protocol for home energy management applications, and the growing need for residential demand response programs has increased the level of interest in ZigBee and its outgrowth Smart Energy Profile by electric utilities around the world.  This article provides an introductory overview to this important standard for both technical and business decision-makers. The Need for ZigBee ZigBee fulfills the need for a low-cost, low-power, long-range, modest data rate wireless networking protocol optimized for use in home energy management and home automation applications.  Before discussing the particulars of the ZigBee protocol, however, it is useful to…

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What Will Home Energy Management Look Like in 2020?

In the area of home energy management, Microsoft and Google made two mistakes: failing to fully understand the needs of the application, resulting in "solutions" that offered limited real value; and abandoning this nascent market, which is destined to be a significant global opportunity for any vendor with a solution that satisfies the market's needs. Their failings are understandable because electricity is a peculiar market. Consumers take it for granted. Regulators tightly control it. Utilities struggle to satisfy consumers while being constrained by the regulatory oversight. Worst of all, the relationship between supply and demand is upside-down: In virtually every…

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