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Living Laboratory One Year Results: Homes Averaged 16 Percent Reduction In Electricity Usage With Highest Reduction At 32 Percent

Stocks in this article: NRG

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 homes.
  • 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 electricity usage.

“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.”

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