Energate Inc., a leader in interactive energy management solutions, announced today that it is piloting the use of innovative secure smart grid technology that will make its thermostats capable of prioritizing use of electricity from environmentally-friendly power plants.
Beginning in May, select Chicago residents will receive Energate’s HōlHōm smart thermostat with a new feature – the ability to selectively use clean energy. Clean Power Mode deliberately synchronizes air conditioning and heating cycles to correspond to availability of clean power reducing, and someday eliminating, any unused green resources.
The WattTime-HōlHōm solution is available to Chicago residents who can apply to participate at www.WattTime.org. The upgrade to a HōlHōm smart thermostat is free, effortless, and has no “catch” - it minimizes the impact on comfort, will not increase energy bills or wear out equipment. No one will be forced to upgrade their thermostat as the focus of the project is to give consumers control over how the energy they consume is made.
“This is something fundamentally new,” said WattTime Executive Director Gavin McCormick. “For more than 100 years, electricity has been primarily fossil fueled. Power plants, unlike almost any other industry, could actually force you to use their product whether you liked it or not. But with this new technology, the game has changed. If you’d rather your energy use didn’t support, say, a coal plant, you can just say no. Every time Energate’s thermostat takes action it effectively casts an economic vote for clean power.” McCormick notes that this timing-based approach ensures that users are directly reducing pollution from dirty plants, not just freeing up the dirty power to be used to power someone else’s home.
“Energate built its Consumer Connected Demand Response™ platform to support a wide variety of needs,” said Steve Dodds, CEO of Energate. “Responding directly to environmental signals demonstrates the amazing flexibility of the platform and of our HōlHōm thermostat at focusing energy where it counts. I can’t think of a better use for this capability than protecting the environment for future generations.”
The technology provides consumers with the choice to use renewable energy sources and is widely compatible with smart devices, and is already in use in select electric vehicles. Energate is the first company to apply it to smart thermostats, and the project team expects the technology will soon become widespread across Internet of Things applications. WattTime’s technology is made possible through years of research and development, mentorship and funding from tech nonprofit accelerator, Fast Forward, and funding from the Great Lakes Protection Fund and Google.org. Energate and WattTime’s work is supported by a broad research coalition of scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, Wayne State University, Delta Institute, Rocky Mountain Institute, and the National Wildlife Federation.