Energy management gets its groove on


We told you earlier this month about retail HAN devices with Zigbee moving into Southern California in a partnership between Southern California Edison and Rainforest Automation. In October we hosted a webinar with experts from Reliant Energy and Tendril on encouraging customer engagement with in-home displays. We also featured a report last month from IDC Energy Insights that confirmed our thinking that the home energy management market was finally seeing some traction.


Now we've come across even more developments we thought you should know about.


NV Energy moves from EcoFactor pilot to mass deployment

After a pilot in the Las Vegas metro area that produced encouraging results, NV Energy has begun a mass deployment of EcoFactor's home energy management services under NVE's mPowered brand.


The partnership calls for EcoFactor to deliver double-digit energy savings to consumers, and a minimum of 20 megawatts of load reduction in the Las Vegas market during the first phase of deployment. And there's reason to think that's achievable. Results during the pilot showed the EcoFactor service simultaneously:

·         Saved an average of 13% in customer cooling costs during Nevada summers that frequently run up to 104 degrees

·         Delivered an average demand response load reduction of more than 3KW per home; 25% higher than the load reductions NVE achieved using other approaches.


So how does it work? As EcoFactor explains it in a press release, the cloud-based service analyzes a home’s specific heating and cooling system information, thermostat settings, personal preferences, indoor temperatures, local weather conditions and several other behavioral factors. Using an Internet-enabled thermostat, it continually learns and adapts to these factors, automatically making small adjustments to thermostat settings throughout the day to reduce energy consumption and shift energy use without compromising comfort. At the same time, it helps utilities more effectively manage demand-side impact on the grid.

Green Mountain and EnTouch target small businesses

Citing stats from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that small buildings comprise nearly 90% of the nation’s commercial buildings and use 50% more energy per square foot than larger facilities - in part due to inefficiencies - Green Mountain Energy and EnTouch Controls are partnering to help small businesses curb energy costs.


Green Mountain is a renewable energy retailer and EnTouch has an Energy Management System (EMS) that measures, monitors and manages energy use. The companies are offering the EnTouch EMS to new and existing Green Mountain small business customers. The idea is that the EMS will help Green Mountain customers further reduce their environmental impact by coupling energy conservation with renewable energy.


EnTouch says that, according to customer case studies, its system can help reduce energy costs by up to 20%.


BuildingIQ and Johnson Controls focus on predictive energy optimization

BuildingIQ's service for commercial buildings automatically fine tunes the building management system (BMS) based on weather forecasts, occupancy patterns and energy prices to optimize HVAC energy.


Now it will bring its apps onto Johnson Controls' new Panoptix platform, a combination of software and services that provide visibility into how every system, subsystem and device in a building is functioning -- and actions building owners can take to improve performance.


Using Panoptix, Johnson Controls customers will be able to access BuildingIQ to automatically reduce energy consumption and costs while improving the operational efficiency of a building and facility managers, according to the press release.


Lucid platform will manage energy and water resources in commercial buildings

Cleantech software company Lucid is previewing its new BuildingOS platform for managing energy and water resources in commercial buildings at a conference in San Francisco this week. The new product, which uses a resource usage feedback technology, is expected to be available to the public early next year.


Do you agree energy management is gaining traction? Which technologies do you think hold the most promise? Use the Talk Back comment form below to share your thoughts.


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