Honeywell And Opower Technologies Link Utilities And Homeowners To Trim
Consumption, Stabilize Power Grid
- Energy Management Platform Blends Demand Response and Efficiency Programs to
Deliver Peak and Permanent Savings
- Consumer-Friendly Technology Could Raise Program Participation, Megawatt
Impact 50 Percent or More Above Average
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company Trial Shows Customers Embrace Wi-Fi
Thermostat and Energy Coaching App
MINNEAPOLIS and ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 29, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS and ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Honeywell (NYSE:
HON) and Opower today introduced new technology that will help utilities
attract more homeowners to voluntary programs that curb the demand for
electricity, and help create a stable and effective energy grid without new
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The Energy Management Platform drives program participation by giving
homeowners the latest tools to easily balance comfort, convenience and cost.
It also merges demand response and energy-efficiency programs for utilities —
traditionally separate activities — to streamline deployment and management,
and boost overall results. This is the first technology to provide utilities
with both auditable peak and permanent load reduction.
According to a 2012 E Source survey of more than half of the demand response
programs in the U.S., the average participation rate for residential customers
is 13 percent. Honeywell and Opower expect the new platform to drive rates to
at least 20 percent, a more than 50 percent increase, due to consumer-friendly
features like mobile access to energy information and control. This would
provide an additional 220 megawatts of peak shed capacity just to the
utilities surveyed, equivalent to the output of more than four gas-fired
In addition, the platform uses proven measurement techniques to deliver
ongoing, verifiable energy savings every day — savings widely accepted by
regulatory agencies, which utilities can count toward their annual efficiency
The Energy Management Platform combines Honeywell's best-selling 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. The app offers tips and
coaching to help increase efficiency and deliver long-term savings.
Honeywell and Opower are currently testing the platform in a trial with
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the largest utilities in the
U.S., serving customers in northern and central California. As part of the
trial, Honeywell and Opower are recruiting participants and installing more
than 500 free thermostats to validate energy savings.
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.
The Energy Management Platform is the initial output of Honeywell and Opower's
development efforts, which couple Honeywell's expertise and innovation in
designing simple-to-use smart home controls with Opower's leading data
analytics and engagement. The platform creates an end-to-end connection
between the utility and consumer. And combined with Honeywell's experience in
the design, marketing and delivery of demand response and energy efficiency
programs, the technology can provide new levels of simplicity and value for
"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."
Along with the convenience of the app, the platform encourages efficiency by
walking users through a simple questionnaire that automatically creates a
setback schedule. As a result, all thermostats are fully programmed upon
installation and can drive energy savings, reducing air-conditioning use up to
20 percent and heating up to 15 percent.
For utilities, the platform includes the Demand Response Automation Server
(DRAS) from Akuacom, a Honeywell business, which creates a secure, two-way
path between the utility operations center and residence, enabling utilities
to temporarily control air conditioners and other equipment when energy use
spikes and threatens grid stability, usually on the hottest weekdays of the
year. It also gives real-time feedback on the impact of demand response
The Energy Management Platform can serve a broad range of customers, helping
utilities increase the number of eligible participants for their programs. The
technology is engineered to accommodate almost all residential heating and
cooling systems. And it takes advantage of widely-available Wi-Fi networks.
More than 60 percent of U.S. homes have Wi-Fi connectivity and many more have
access to broadband networks. Wi-Fi is even more prevalent in Canada, where
the platform is also available.
For more information, please visit the Honeywell and Opower websites, or
follow HoneywellGrid and Opower on Twitter.
Honeywell International (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified
technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with
aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and
industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based
in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York,
London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on
Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.
Working with 80 utility partners, Opower is the world's leading customer
engagement solutions provider for the utility industry. Opower's customer
engagement platform and solution suite enables utilities to involve their
customers in programs that drive energy efficiency goals, smart grid and new
rate acceptance, brand loyalty and lower costs of service. Proven to drive
behavioral change at scale, Opower products and services help customers save
energy and money, drive significant increases in customer participation in
other utility programs, and increase overall customer satisfaction. Founded in
2007 and privately held, Opower is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with
offices in San Francisco and London.
This release contains certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking
statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that
address activities, events or developments that we or our management intends,
expects, projects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are
forward-looking statements. Such statements are based upon certain assumptions
and assessments made by our management in light of their experience and their
perception of historical trends, current economic and industry conditions,
expected future developments and other factors they believe to be appropriate.
The forward-looking statements included in this release are also subject to a
number of material risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to
economic, competitive, governmental, and technological factors affecting our
operations, markets, products, services and prices. Such forward-looking
statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results,
developments and business decisions may differ from those envisaged by such
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