Honeywell and power companies across the nation are partnering to save money and reduce peak demand by installing programmable thermostats with two-way communication capabilities.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Even in the middle of the winter, manufacturers and energy companies are thinking about the upcoming air conditioning season. In the past, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), a subsidiary of Great Plains Energy, has worked with Honeywell to implement the Energy Optimizer program. With the program’s proved success, the two companies have decided to extend the contract for 2008, continuing their energy-saving relationship.


KCP&L’s Energy Optimizer program, managed by Honeywell, is designed to reduce peak energy consumption from June to September, when air conditioning use reaches its highest levels of the year.

The demand-response program, which was launched in 2005, features the installation of programmable thermostats in residential homes and small businesses. The thermostats include a paging system that allows the utility to communicate with the thermostats, cycling the air conditioners on and off for brief intervals during the hottest days of the year when energy consumption peaks.

This program is provided by Honeywell Utility Solutions, a division of Honeywell Building Solutions. Honeywell Utility Solutions has been designing, implementing, and managing demand-response programs for utilities for 30 years.

Having installed more than 860,000 thermostats and other load-control devices, the company also specializes in meter services, energy management, and water solutions.

Beyond the monetary benefits of advance technology implementation, Energy Optimizer is part of KCP&L’s strategy for meeting Kansas City’s future energy needs. To date, 18,000 thermostats have been installed, exceeding the three-year program goal in less than two years. By extending the program, the utility plans to install an additional 13,000 thermostats.

“We are very pleased with the success of this program,” said Kevin Bryant, vice president of Energy Solutions for KCP&L. “The Energy Optimizer program helps us defer the need to build additional peaking power plants while helping customers save on heating and cooling costs year-round.”

Other utilities have partnered with Honeywell and implemented a demand-response program as well. Through CPS Energy’s program in San Antonio, Honeywell has installed more than 10,000 load-controlling thermostats since the start of the program in 2003. The program has given the utility the ability to cut peak energy use by approximately 11 megawatts (MW). The goal for 2008 is to install 6,000 additional thermostats.

Southern California Edison’s program has installed 175,000 load-controlling switches since the start of the program in 2006. This includes 90,000 switches in 2007. These switches allowed the utility to cut peak energy use by 175 MW. The goal for 2008 is to install 60,000 more switches.


The energy-saving program benefits consumers as well as utility companies. According to KCP&L, customers who enroll in the program receive a free, professionally installed programmable thermostat, which can reduce the home heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent. The thermostat also includes online programming capabilities, giving users the ability to adjust comfort settings from work or other remote locations.

The program not only benefits consumers, but it also makes KCP&L’s job less cumbersome. For the Energy Optimizer, Honeywell provides all program management, marketing, installation, and customer service functions.

“Almost every house has an air conditioner and a variety of appliances and electronics, and the burden on the electrical grid continues to grow as a result,” said Kent Anson, vice president of Global Energy for Honeywell Building Solutions.

“Programs like Energy Optimizer are essential to help utilities keep electricity affordable and protect the environment for future generations.”

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Publication date:02/11/2008