News & Events

Tantalus Acquires Demand Management Company Energate to Expand Smart Grid Applications Portfolio

Energate’s interactive demand management solutions enable Tantalus to further enhance market-leading edge-computing smart grid platform RALEIGH, N.C. – August 23, 2017 – Tantalus Systems, a leading provider of smart grid solutions for electric and multi-commodity utilities, announced today that it completed the acquisition of Energate, Inc., a leader in interactive demand management solutions. The acquisition expands Tantalus’ smart grid application portfolio to include a comprehensive solution which empowers utilities and energy service providers to control load at the edge of the distribution network. “Incorporating Energate’s advanced demand management solutions into Tantalus’ product portfolio represents an exciting step towards delivering our…

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Energate to Supply ZigBee Load Switches For Home Energy Management Program to West Coast Utility

Energate’s LC2200 Two-way Communicating Direct Load Control Devices Enable Next-Generation Energy Management OTTAWA – June 13, 2017 – Energate Inc., the leader in ZigBee SEP interactive energy management solutions that enable the Utility Internet of Things (IoT) next-generation energy management and the connected home, will supply Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) with load control switches for the next phase of the company’s SmartAC™ program. Energate will deliver its LC2200 load switches using the secure ZigBee Smart Energy Profile providing two-way communications via PG&E’s existing ZigBee enabled meters.  The LC2200 delivers both control and insight into load shedding events and…

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HŌLHŌM GREEN MAKES CARBON FOOTPRINT REDUCTION EASY FOR AUSTIN ENERGY CUSTOMERS

HōlHōm GREEN makes carbon footprint reduction easy for Austin Energy customers Energate is first in the nation to offer WattTime carbon response directly to consumers. Austin – April 21, 2017 – Energate Inc., a leader in interactive energy management solutions for utilities, and connected homes and small businesses, announces HōlHōm Green™ a real-time carbon reducing gateway and smart thermostat. HōlHōm Green is the first smart thermostat that actively changes settings to reduce a home’s carbon footprint in response to the current carbon emissions of the regional power system.  Just like HōlHōm transformed smart thermostats in 2015, by adding a gateway…

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ENERGATE ANNOUNCES ADDITION OF ALOHA

Alōha adds a new level of awareness to Energate's Consumer Connected Demand Response (CCDR) platform - driving energy savings. San Diego, CA – Jan 31, 2017 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management for the Utility Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home, announces the addition of Alōha. This new addition is an integral part of Energate's Consumer Connected Demand Response (CCDR) platform that saves money and energy as people come and go from their homes. Alōha provides the ability to automatically optimize device settings using multiple occupancy signals, starting…

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Customer Opt-in Dynamic Pricing (CODP)

PROJECT OVERVIEW Dynamic pricing is an innovative way to create a win-win situation for customers and the electricity grid, offering an alternative to the traditional Time-of-Use (TOU) model. Ottawa-based energy solutions company, Energate Inc., worked with Ontario utility, Alectra Inc. (formerly PowerStream), to develop the Customer Opt-in Dynamic Pricing (CODP) program. The program was marketed to 1,000 participants as Advantage Power Pricing (APP) a technology enabled dynamic pricing program for residential customers. By encouraging customers to shift demand to off-peak periods, it continues to provide savings to both the grid and to customers. Participants were provided with an Energate Foundation Smart Thermostat that automatically responds to price signals based…

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Consumer Engagement for the Smart Grid (CESG)

PROJECT OVERVIEW As Ontario’s power grid becomes smarter, many Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) are looking for ways to incentivise residential customers to reduce energy consumption. Ottawa-based energy solutions company, Energate, has developed an end-to-end solution that allows consumers to take control of their energy consumption while helping utilities improve performance. The company’s Consumer Connected Demand Response (CCDR) platform includes mobile apps, web portals, smart thermostats, wired load switches, and smart plugs that all leverage two-way connectivity. With the support of Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, and funded in part by Ontario’s Smart Grid Fund, six Ontario LDCs partnered with Energate to deploy their solution into 733 homes across the province.…

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Energate & Stream Announce Partnership to Deliver Energy Management Tools To Up To 30,000 Texas Households

OTTAWA – September 27, 2016 – Energate, Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions announces a new partnership with Stream, a leading provider of connected services, to provide Programmable Communicating Thermostats (PCT) and In-Home-Displays (IHD) to up to 30,000 eligible Texas customers. Energate has been delivering in home devices since early 2015 for the Public Utility Commission of Texas Advanced Metering System. Low-Income, In-Home Monitoring Program provides families with in-home technology through their Retail Electric Provider (REP) at no cost. Energate provides a complete turnkey program to REPs that may not have otherwise been able to participate due…

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LC2200 PGE Peaking

Energate Selected For California Summer Peaking Technology Test

Energate’s LC2200 Two-way Communicating Direct Load Control Switch Capabilities Being Tested OTTAWA – August 29, 2016 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management for the Utility Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home, has been selected by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to explore a new two-way direct load control solution technology for residential customers. The technology assessment, already underway, will measure the load reduction values of multiple technologies including Energate’s recently introduced LC2200 Load Control Switch.  The technologies are installed in a small sample of existing residential customer’s homes…

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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 and WattTime.org Partner to Enable Smart Thermostats to Maximize Use of Environmentally Friendly Resources

Internet of Things Technology Will Allow Consumers to Reduce Electricity Consumption When Green Resources are not Available OTTAWA – April 22, 2016 - Energate Inc., a leader in interactive energy management solutions, announced today that it is piloting the use of innovative secure smart grid technology that will make its thermostats capable of prioritizing use of electricity from environmentally-friendly power plants. Beginning in May, select Chicago residents will receive Energate’s HōlHōm smart thermostat with a new feature – the ability to selectively use clean energy. Clean Power Mode deliberately synchronizes air conditioning and heating cycles to correspond to availability of…

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Energate & PowerStream Deliver Customer Opt-In Dynamic Pricing Program to Additional Participants

Successful Summer Pilot Prompts a Second Pilot to Evaluate the Impacts of the Winter Season OTTAWA – February 16, 2016 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management for the Utility Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home has been working with PowerStream to deliver the first of its kind in Canada, a Customer Opt-in Dynamic Pricing (CODP) program for residential customers – providing significant savings to the grid and to customers. The success of the pilot prompted PowerStream to launch a second pilot to evaluate CODP impact during the next…

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Energate Announces its LC2200, A New, Cost Effective, Easy-to-Deploy Load Control Switch for Utilities

ORLANDO – February 9, 2016 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management for the Utility Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home, announced today the expansion of its LC2000 Load Switch Platform by introducing the LC2200 ZigBee™ wired load control switch.  The LC2200 is the second load switch based on the new platform and follows the recently released LC2100 for point-to-multi-point communications over the Ingenu Machine Network. “The LC2200 load control switch is a utility and consumer friendly cost-effective solution for residential and light commercial electrical loads, such as air…

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Energate Provides Full Turnkey Program to Retail Electric Providers

Program Provides In-Home Solutions to Customers in Texas OTTAWA – January 11, 2016 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management for the Utility Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home has been working with Retail Electric Providers (REPs) in Texas to provide Programmable Communicating Thermostats (PCT) and In-Home Displays (IHD) to their Lite-Up Texas customers. The Public Utility Commission of Texas Advanced Metering System Low-Income In-Home Monitor Program provides eligible families with in-home technology through their REP at no charge. The program will provide technology for over 30,000 homes and…

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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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Webinar: LC2100 Load Control Switch – Delivering Performance Everywhere

Are you looking for the ultimate Demand Response solution? One that is cost-effective, reliable, and ubiquitous? With Energate’s LC2100 Load Control Switch and Ingenu's RPMA® (Random Phase Multiple Access) network, utilities can have their cake and eat it too. Introduced earlier this year the LC2100 Load Control Switch has been designed from-the-ground-up to tap the RPMA Network's capabilities to provide a never-before-seen set of features in a two-way easy to install broad coverage solution. In this webinar, you will learn: Why deploying the LC2100 over the Ingenu (formerly On-Ramp Wireless) network is cost effective About the value of two-way over…

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Webinar: Presenting Ingenu Technology

Are you interested in wireless communications systems for the Industrial Internet of Things? Energate is, and Ingenu (formerly OnRamp Wireless) can provide it. Ingenu developed the first wireless system purpose built to efficiently connect billions of hard to reach devices and Energate is incorporating the Ingenu RPMA® (Random Phase Multiple Access) Network into its Consumer Connected Demand Response (CCDR) platform. In this webinar, you will learn: How to use your existing Itron network to capture the value of 2-way demand response programs, including direct load control and pricing What the benefits of real-time electricity usage information are for your customers How the end-to-end integration improves device management…

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Energate Announces its LC2100, a New, Cost Effective, Easy-to-Deploy Load Control Switch for Utilities

OTTAWA – April 07, 2015 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management for the Utility Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home, announced today the availability of its latest wired load control switch, the LC2100. Energate has integrated Ingenu's (formerly  On-Ramp Wireless’) RPMA® (Random Phase Multiple Access) technology into its LC2100 Load Control Switch, which is part of Energate’s fully-integrated demand management solution for utilities and service providers who need a two-way, interactive, secure, low-risk, private communication network with ubiquitous coverage. The RPMA Network has a significant performance advantage with…

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Energate and On-Ramp Wireless Team Up To Deliver New Point-To-Multipoint Interactive Energy Platform

ORLANDO (TechAdvantage 2015) – February 24, 2015 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management platform connecting homes and small businesses, and On-Ramp Wireless, a leading provider of wireless communications solutions for the Industrial Internet of Things, announce their partnership to deliver a new affordable, advanced, easy-to-deploy, point-to-multipoint (P2MP) communications option for Energate’s solutions. Energate is incorporating On-Ramp Wireless RPMA® (Random Phase Multiple Access) communications into its Consumer Connected Demand Response (CCDR) Platform, a system which can support either a utility’s existing demand response management system or Energate’s load management software via Energate’s CORE Middleware.  The platform also…

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Webinar: Leveraging Energate’s End-to-End Itron OpenWay Integration

In today's mobile world, having access and control of functionality that affects your daily life is paramount. By having control, your customers not only make their lives easier, but also far more productive as the systems provided by smart device applications give them insights that were not previously available. Here are the benefits you’ll gain from attending this Webinar. In this webinar, you will learn: How to use your existing Itron network to capture the value of 2-way demand response programs, including direct load control and pricing What the benefits of real-time electricity usage information are for your customers How the…

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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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Energate Collaborates with PowerStream in a Customer Opt-In Dynamic Pricing Project Supported by the Ministry of Energy

PowerStream customers can now participate in the Advantage Power Pricing program Ottawa – October 22, 2014 – Energate, Inc., a leader in interactive energy management solutions and products for utilities and their residential customers, announced today that the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund will provide $1.35 million for a Customer Opt-in Dynamic Pricing project. The project is a collaboration with Local Distribution Company (LDC) PowerStream, was launched February 13, 2014 and will run until March 2016. This is the second time Energate has been selected to receive funding through the Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund which  promotes…

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Webinar: Capture the value of Energate’s Demand Response Programs

Webinar: Capture the value of Energate's Demand Response Programs In today's mobile world, having access and control of functionality that affects your daily life is paramount. By having control, your customers not only make their lives easier, but also far more productive as the systems provided by smart device applications give them insights that were not previously available. Here are the benefits you’ll gain from attending this Webinar. In this webinar, you will learn: How to use your existing Sensus AMI network to capture the value of 2-way demand response programs, including direct load control and pricing What the benefits of…

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Webinar: Energate’s MyEnergate Mobile Application

In today's mobile world, having access and control of functionality that affects your daily life is paramount. By having control, your customers not only make their lives easier, but also far more productive as the systems provided by smart device applications give them insights that were not previously available. Energate’s MyEnergate Mobile Application for both Apple and Android devices can provide your customers with insight into how they control their thermostat, as well as the associated cost saving implications.     In this webinar, you will learn: How to view and change current temperature settings including Heat, Cool (Auto, Off) and Fan (Auto,…

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Energate Interactive Energy Management Solutions announces release of MyEnergate Home Energy Management Mobile Application for Android platform

Ottawa, Canada — August 19, 2014 — Energate, the world’s leading provider of Interactive Energy Management Solutions, announced today the release of the company’s MyEnergate™ mobile application for the Android platform. Designed for use with Android smartphones and tablets, this release marks the company’s second into the mobile space—the first release in 2013 was developed exclusively for Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad. For users of the Google Android platform, the MyEnergate™ thermostat application enables users to control their Energate devices from their personal Android smartphone or tablet. The 2-way MyEnergate™ application allows users to monitor and control their…

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Energate Leverages Sensus Communication Network for Interoperability

PowerStream and Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution first utilities to deploy Energate’s Consumer Connected Demand Response Platform operating over Sensus FlexNet Communication Network. Ottawa – July 29, 2014 – Energate Inc., a leading provider of interactive energy management solutions that enable next generation energy management and that support the connected home, announced that PowerStream and Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution are both leveraging Energate’s Consumer Connected Demand Response™ (CCDR) platform and the Sensus FlexNet™ communication system to deliver Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA) peaksaver® PLUS program to residential customers as a means of reducing energy consumption during periods of peak demand. This two-way Demand Response…

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Webinar: Introducing HōlHōm+

To date, utilities have not had a cost-effective option to deploy a continuously monitored and verifiable Demand Response (DR) or Direct Load Control (DLC) solution— especially without an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). And, when AMI is eventually deployed, existing field devices do not have the right technology to pair them with ZigBee meters. Not any more with HōlHōm. Energate’s HōlHōm+™ (pronounced whole home plus) Solution provides utilities, particularly those that haven’t yet deployed AMI, with the ability to deploy advanced home energy management features and services to their residential and small business customers. At the same time, HōlHōm+ provides reliable,…

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National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid®

Louis Szablya will be attending the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid® from May 19 to 21, 2014, in Washington, D.C. If you are interested in booking a time to meet with Louis during this event, please contact us. The National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid® is the premier event in the US focused on the business and policy aspects of demand response and its enabling technologies and applications. It is unique in that it devotes an entire day to roundtable discussions featuring experts in demand response and smart grid, who discuss with each…

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Energate Not Susceptible to the Heartbleed bug.

Energate takes security and privacy very seriously. With the recent concerns with the Heartbleed bug we immediately performed a vulnerability analysis on all our systems. We are glad to report that none of our systems use the affected OpenSSL code, and Energate's CORE Middleware, Load Management System (LMS), and Consumer Portal were not and are not susceptible to the Heartbleed bug. However, we went the extra mile and tested for vulnerability to ensure that we did not miss anything and that our systems are secure. While those of you who are using the MyEnergate Consumer Portal and Mobile Application are…

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Webinar: Making Legacy Systems Relevant | No DLC/DR Asset Left Behind

The Issues With Existing Legacy DLC Systems are numerous. Currently, one-way communications provide no DLC event feedback leading to indeterminate performance; no upgrade path without full equipment swap-out; programs often experience broken or missing equipment after several years. Reliability (for both equipment and resulting customer participation) becomes an ongoing business concern; and pager networks are inherently insecure and are at risk to be attacked via denial of service attacks. Energate is empowering utilities and consumers to take advantage of new technology to manage residential energy use, securely and reliably for the utility, while giving consumers conservation, comfort, and convenience. The…

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Energate releases HōlHōm its revolutionary new Interactive Home Energy Solution

Solves the challenge of linking a home’s entire energy usage with comprehensive consumer controls San Antonio – January 29, 2014 – Energate Inc., the leading provider of interactive energy management solutions, announced today the release of its HōlHōm (pronounced whole home) Interactive In-Home Energy Management Solution. Consisting of both hardware and cloud services, HōlHōm solves the challenge of linking the entire energy usage of a home with comprehensive consumer controls: The new solution combines multiple proven technologies to enable real-time, whole-home energy consumption and HVAC control into one, single elegant solution. The technology behind HōlHōm utilizes time-tested technologies verified by…

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Energate Announces Launch of Innovative New Brand

Energate Announces Launch of Innovative New Brand Ottawa – January 29, 2014 – Energate Inc., the leading provider of interactive energy management solutions, today announced the launch of its new brand and approach to its corporate communications practices—including a completely new look and state-of-the-art website. The launch coincides with the company’s ever-increasing success in its respective market—celebrating ten years of providing the most innovative and cutting-edge, reliable technology for utilities and their consumers in the industry. Far beyond the company’s new look comes a newly created infrastructure to further expand the organization’s communications efforts. In the coming weeks and months, Energate’s…

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Energate Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Energate Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary Company readies itself for launch of new global brand and revolutionary device OTTAWA – January, 20, 2014 – Energate, Inc., the leading provider of interactive energy management solutions, today announced that it is celebrating the company’s ten-year anniversary. The company, that began its legacy a mere decade ago, has solidified itself as the premier solution for utility companies in North America—its Pioneer Smart Thermostat is in over 50,000 homes as part of Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s SmartHours® program, part of OG&E’s Positive Energy™ Smart Grid Program, which is the world’s highest ranked Smart Grid project according…

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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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