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 power plants.
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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 peaking plants.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 goals. 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.