Another of the players on the consumer-end side of the growing smart grid market said today its personalized residential energy management solution is now available for utilities to install in customers’ homes. EcoFactor, a start up in the Silicon Valley, added it already has one residential deployment going on as well.
EcoFactor’s solution consists of home-based smart technologies which control a home’s residential heating and air conditioning (HVAC) usage. This solution uses “thousands of data points collected throughout the day from the thermostat, local weather stations and other geographic inputs, in order to create a continuously evolving heating and cooling strategy for each home.” These individualized strategies , working with the smart grid concept of voluntary surrendering of some control to your utility to “realize a greater yield of peak load demand response” during high demand periods, have already been put through some trial runs. These trials found reduction in “reduced manual thermostat overrides by up to 90 percent, eliminating the need for homeowners to constantly readjust their thermostats with the “up” and “down” arrows, while also optimizing HVAC usage for an average cost savings of 20 to 30 percent.”
EcoFactor’s first true deployment after the initial tests, the company said, will be as part of a Texas-based “residential energy efficiency program” being put on by electric utility company Oncor. This program will require EcoFactor to “deliver an efficiency-centric demand response program to eliminate the need for three megawatts of peak power — the equivalent of about 2,000 average-sized air conditioning units.”