FARMINGTON, CT — Carrier Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. headquartered here, has announced the launch of its ComfortChoiceSM demand-side energy management pilot program with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a regulated distribution utility providing electric and natural gas service in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

Through the pilot program, scheduled to begin in November, SDG&E will install 5,000 Carrier ComfortChoice energy management systems (EMi's) in area households. The pilot is expected to run through the end of 2004.

“The ComfortChoice program was chosen from a group of more than 20 vendors because it meets our requirements for a complete, turnkey solution that helps our customers make an easy transition to becoming more energy efficient,” said Yole Whiting, director of consumer programs and services at SDG&E.

ComfortChoice, jointly marketed by Carrier and Silicon Energy, is an Internet-based demand-side management solution that uses two-way wireless communication. It features a Carrier seven-day Internet-communicating programmable thermostat. Using a web interface developed by Silicon Energy, an energy provider (such as SDG&E) accesses a program to curtail demand either through temperature offsets or by cycling the system on and off.

For example, to reduce demand during a power watch or energy emergency, an energy provider might increase thermostat settings anywhere from 2¿ to 6¿F in participating homes and businesses. By raising the temperature settings, the connected hvac equipment runs less frequently, saving energy, and cutting back on energy costs for the user.

If desired, customers can override the energy curtailment either by adjusting their thermostat locally, or by using an Internet interface developed by Carrier, accessible via any standard web browser. In addition to overriding curtailments, customers can use the web interface to obtain equipment status or change system settings such as temperature, on/off, and heat/cool mode.

San Diego-area homeowners interested in participating in the pilot program can obtain more information by contacting 800-411-7343.

For more information on ComfortChoice, visit (website).

Publication date: 11/12/2001