NEW YORK — Air conditioner manufacturer Friedrich and ThinkEco have announced a partnership to enable utilities to cost effectively bring new customers into demand response programs.
Beginning in summer 2014, utilities will be able to use ThinkEco’s turnkey demand response (DR) services to incorporate connected Friedrich Kühl room air conditioners directly into DR programs. Customers will simply use their FriedrichLink WiFi kit to opt into available programs, thereby allowing them to receive incentives and rebates, and help their local utility provide better electricity services.
This technology partnership is already planned for deployment in New York City, enabling Kühl owners to participate in the 2014 coolNYC program (www.coolnycprogram.com), a demand response partnership between Con Edison and ThinkEco.
“As more utilities move to find new demand side resources, this partnership will provide value by incorporating networked devices directly into their load control portfolio,” said TJ Wheeler, director of product management at Friedrich. “ThinkEco is an expert at wireless communications technology and working with utilities to create cost-effective programs. It’s not just about turning a/c on and off; it’s also about customer engagement, accurate measurement and reporting, and recruiting and retaining customers for success in a large-scale DR program.”
Friedrich’s Kühl is a Wi-Fi capable room air conditioner that allows consumers to remotely turn a/c units on and off, set fan mode, and create schedules, all via a smartphone or computer.
“Friedrich was the first to introduce a room a/c that was compatible with the lifestyle of today’s fully connected consumer,” said Matthew Tolliver, VP of business development at ThinkEco. “This partnership is a perfect example of ThinkEco’s approach to the connected home, working with forward-looking companies like Friedrich to seamlessly connect devices, and provide value to consumers, businesses, and utilities.”
The ThinkEco platform is based on the company’s smartAC technology, which retrofits room air conditioning units to provide cloud-based metering and temperature-based remote control. ThinkEco has used this technology to create room air conditioner-focused DR programs that have successfully balanced customer comfort with utility load-shedding requirements.
Publication date: 2/10/2014