CHATSWORTH, Calif. — Venstar®, a leading thermostat and energy management systems supplier, has announced the release of its new Firmware 3.14 update for its ColorTouch® residential and commercial color touch screen, programmable thermostats. This update delivers added automated demand response (ADR) and equipment fault detection (EFD) in compliance with California’s Title 24.

“ColorTouch Firmware 3.14 update enables Venstar’s ColorTouch thermostats to comply with Title 24’s automated demand response and equipment fault detection mandates,” said Steve Dushane, CEO of Venstar. “At Venstar, we are dedicated to giving ColorTouch users an easy upgrade path to the latest, most innovative features with firmware updates and continually creating new features and performance enhancements to ensure that ColorTouch users, installers, and contractors always have the very best in indoor climate control.”

With the Firmware 3.14 update, ColorTouch thermostats now support and have the ability to participate in utility-generated load shedding events. ColorTouch now supports the handling of specific signals from the utility provider. Utility signals sent to the thermostat may include pricing information and/or setback actions that allow users to alter the comfort settings of the thermostat in order to reduce energy usage on demand.

When there is a pending ADR event for participating users, a yellow leaf shows on the top bar of ColorTouch thermostats to alert users that the local utility company may modify its comfort settings to reduce energy use during times of high demand. During an active ADR event, the setpoints are locked. However, users have the option of opting out of the ADR event by pressing the warmer or cooler buttons. Mode changes, such as turning the time period program on and off, as well as Home and Away modes, can be altered during an active ADR event. The curtailment setpoints are enforced on top of these modes until the ADR event expires.

If it is more energy efficient to run the current setpoints rather than changing to the ADR demands, the thermostat will not modify that setpoint. If the screen is locked with a PIN code and setpoint changes are not allowed, there is no way to opt out of an active ADR event from the thermostat unless the user inputs the authentication code.

The local utility company will have the ability to request and receive thermostat curtailment reports from Venstar’s Skyport™ Cloud Services pertaining to all thermostats in the program. Users, installers, and contractors can select “Thermostat Settings” in Skyport Cloud Services to choose the Demand Response button.

The 3.14 firmware update is now factory-standard in new ColorTouch residential and commercial thermostats. Previous ColorTouch residential and commercial models can be updated via Wi-Fi at the thermostat or through Venstar’s mobile app with its Skyport Cloud Services.

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Publication date: 12/1/2014

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