Of the many companies offering consumer-side solutions around smart grids and energy efficiency, EcoFactor is one whose name keeps popping up as a company to watch. Its solution, which “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,” is seen as one of the more desired personalized residential energy management options available for utilities to offer to their customers at the moment.
EcoFactor’s system was recently put into play in Texas for the first time as part of a program designed to help users cut home energy bills by 20-30% while still maintaining comfort. We got in touch with them via email recently to answer some questions more about how their system works and how smart grids play a lot into the future of home energy management. Scott Hublou, Senior Vice President of Products and co-founder of EcoFactor, was kind enough to provide us some answers:
EarthTechling (ET): What exactly does EcoFactor do?
Scott Hublou: EcoFactor is a personalized solution for managing residential energy use, so consumers don’t have to choose between savings, comfort and convenience. The solution provides intelligent, automated action to optimize residential heating and air conditioning (HVAC) usage and serves as an alternative to the one-size-fits-all energy solutions currently available. The Web-based solution collects and analyzes thousands of data points, including all aspects of a home’s unique thermal characteristics, from occupant behavior and preferences, to heating and air conditioner performance, to constantly changing weather conditions and patterns, and the relationship between inside and outside temperatures. EcoFactor’s proprietary algorithms then create a “dynamic signature,” or a customized model of a home’s thermal characteristics that’s constantly responding to changing conditions. Using this signature, EcoFactor automatically develops heating and cooling strategies for an overall reduction in HVAC energy usage and increased savings.