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Companies Work on Energy Management

WASHINGTON — Honeywell and Opower announced plans to jointly develop energy management tools to help consumers cut their energy use and expenses. The companies said this agreement will combine Honeywell’s expertise in residential automation and control systems with Opower’s energy data analytics and customer engagement techniques to create intuitive, reliable, and cost-effective technology that will provide energy savings in the home and across the entire electrical grid.

The initial platform from the companies includes a web-connected programmable thermostat to help utilities boost energy-efficiency programs, driving deeper savings in the home and maximizing return on investment. The technology will measure, analyze, and report homeowners’ electricity use, including detailed information from the thermostat which controls heating and cooling systems — equipment that accounts for almost 50 percent of all residential energy consumption. Utility customers will be able to access the data from a web portal or mobile application to get a clear and comprehensive snapshot of their energy use and spending.

“Empowering consumers to adjust how they use electricity starts with awareness,” said Jeremy Eaton, vice president of energy solutions for Honeywell “But it doesn’t end there — they also need easy-to-use controls to implement changes and make them stick. We believe Honeywell and Opower will successfully combine information, motivation, and control to help homeowners reduce energy consumption and costs.”

The companies plan to pilot the new product with select utility partners over the next few months. The platform may eventually support utilities’ efficiency programs for light commercial customers, as well as demand response programs, which help temporarily reduce electricity consumption when energy use spikes and strains the grid. Honeywell also plans to sell similar products through residential contractors and retailers.

Publication date: 10/03/2011

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