Living Laboratory One Year Results: Homes Averaged 16 Percent Reduction in
Electricity Usage with Highest Reduction at 32 Percent
Company marks Reliant Innovation Avenue one-year anniversary with the release
of findings and the launch of Reliant e-Sense® Now app
HOUSTON -- November 14, 2012
After living one year on the most energy-conscious block in the nation,
Reliant Innovation Avenue residents have reduced their electricity usage by an
average of 16 percent, with one home achieving a 32 percent reduction in
electricity usage. These results strongly suggest that when homeowners are
given the right tools, upgrades and information about their electricity usage,
they can change their habits and significantly reduce electricity use.
Innovation Avenue consists of 12 homes ranging in age from recently built to
more than a century old. In October 2011, each home received a customized set
of energy efficiency upgrades and smart energy technology products and
services, designed to provide them with detailed information about their
electricity usage and costs.
These tools, some from Reliant’s suite of e-Sense® Smart Energy Solutions,
include home energy monitors, weekly summary emails detailing their energy
usage and estimated costs, solar panels and home automation. In addition,
several residents received insulation and an air conditioning inspection and
tune-up based on their individual needs. Residents also participated in a
pilot program for smart appliances and Reliant’s Filters Made Easy® service in
which new filters were delivered directly to the residents’ homes when it was
time for replacement.
For the one-year anniversary, Reliant compared Innovation Avenue residents’
electricity usage to their usage prior to modifying their homes. The results
of the living laboratory experiment on Innovation Avenue have revealed that:
*Informing residents about their electricity usage caused them to use less
electricity. Residents saw decreases between one and 32 percent in
electricity used over the last year as compared to the previous year. The
results varied from one home to the next depending on services provided
and the residents’ engagement with the technologies installed in their
*Residents consistently utilized the Reliant e-Sense® Home Energy Monitor.
By being able to regularly see how much electricity their homes were using
in real time, residents could see when their electricity usage peaked and
make instant decisions to affect their usage.
*Installing solar panels has allowed one resident the ability to create
electricity, not just use it. The home of Innovation Avenue residents
Scott and Carol Beck was outfitted with Reliant Solar Solutions, a
residential solar panel leasing program. In one year, the solar panels
generated 2,927 kWh, saving Scott and Carol 15 percent on their
“The nation can learn a lot from Innovation Avenue because it demonstrates
that people can considerably reduce their electricity usage when they
understand how they use it and make choices that are right for them,” said
Elizabeth Killinger, President of Reliant. “It’s remarkable to have the data
from a living laboratory with real families and even children interacting with
smart energy technology to prove that it works and the whole family can work
together to conserve.”
Residents said the Reliant e-Sense® Home Energy Monitor, manufactured by
Tendril, was one of their favorite tools. It helped them understand their
electricity usage and monthly bills and allowed them to visualize the
consumption of electricity when various appliances were in use. Once they
became aware of their electricity usage, they looked for ways to modify their
habits which helped reduce their electricity usage and costs. Reliant also
distributed the Reliant e-Sense® Home Energy Monitors over 10,000 customers
Using this direct feedback from Innovation Avenue residents, Reliant developed
the Reliant e-Sense® Now application, a second generation smart energy tool
designed to bring the real-time information available on the Reliant e-Sense®
Home Energy Monitor along with additional electricity usage information
directly to the customer’s smart phone or tablet. Visit www.reliant.com/now to
learn more about the new Reliant e-Sense® Now application.
“I enjoy using the eSense Now app on the iPad. I like the portability of
course, but most of all, I like the ease of being able to get that much
information in an instantaneous way. Daily, weekly and monthly summaries,
literally, at my fingertips,” said Gil Costas, Innovation Avenue resident.
Reliant exclusively offers a Learn and Conserve Plan that includes a Nest
Learning Thermostat. The Nest thermostat was added to one home about mid-way
through the year. Within about a month of installing the Nest, using the
Energy History feature, Costas discovered that his air conditioning unit was
nearing the end of its life and running 20 hours a day to cool his home. With
this information he was able to proactively replace the unit and his total
home electricity usage dropped by 40 percent.
“My favorite gadget has become the Nest Learning thermostat. It is amazing
that the thermostat has been able to learn the habits of the house occupants,
and adjusted itself accordingly,” Costas said.
The Reliant Innovation Avenue project was conceived and implemented with the
input and cooperation of the City of Houston. Reliant leads Texas in bringing
the benefits of smart energy technology to consumers with more than 700,000
Reliant customers already using Reliant e-Sense® products and services.
Reliant provides electricity, energy services and smart energy solutions to
more than 1.5 million retail customers including homes, businesses,
manufacturing facilities, government entities and institutions in Texas,
Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Jersey and Pennsylvania. As part of NRG (NYSE: NRG), Reliant is backed by a
Fortune 500 company that is at the forefront of changing how people think
about and use energy. NRG is a pioneer in developing cleaner and smarter
energy choices for its customers and its diverse power generating facilities
can support over 20 million homes nationwide. For more information about
Reliant products and services, visit www.reliant.com.
Pat Hammond, 713.537.2157
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