Upgrades to Top-Rated Thermostats and App Deliver Savings in the Home, and Help Keep Utilities Up and Running
With Wi-Fi and app access, the new wave of programmable thermostats can deliver the ultimate in comfort, convenience and control, while cutting energy bills. But the benefits don’t have to stop at the front door. Honeywell (NYSE: HON) today announced that its full line of Wi-Fi thermostats will enable homeowners to connect with their utility and receive incentives for trimming electricity use.
Tony Uttley, general manager of Home Comfort and Energy Systems at Honeywell said:
“The same technology people purchase today to lower their heating bills can pay extra dividends in the summer months. Honeywell can easily link homeowners to these additional savings.”
On the year’s hottest days, when air conditioners and power plants are running at max capacity, utilities often look to reduce energy use to ease stress on the electrical grid. So they may compensate customers who are willing to raise the temperature in their homes a couple degrees, for a couple hours. These programs, also known as demand response, help keep the power flowing and lights on during heat waves.
In return, customers can get rebates for installing hardware like a Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat and connecting to a utility program, along with other rewards, such as bill credits for energy saved when the grid is congested. The control remains with the homeowner and the interaction with the utility is fully automated.
“More people buy our thermostats than any other brand because we understand homeowners and their diverse needs,” Uttley said.
“There is no one-size-fits-all technology. With a range of Wi-Fi thermostats to meet any application or price point, Honeywell is able to bring homeowners and utilities together at an unprecedented scale.”
The ability to participate in energy-savings events has already been added to the Honeywell Wi-Fi 7-Day Touchscreen Thermostat (MSRP: $149), which is currently available through retailers, and heating and cooling contractors across North America. By early 2014, all of Honeywell’s Wi-Fi thermostats, including the Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat (MSRP: $249), will have the ability to integrate with utility programs. A firmware upgrade will also be available for existing thermostats.
Homeowners can control these devices from anywhere using Total Connect Comfort, the top-rated thermostat app on iTunes® and Google Play™. Honeywell recently updated the app so customers who join utility programs receive alerts on their smartphones or tablets whenever an energy-savings event is scheduled. In addition, the app allows users to opt out of an event if the timing or temperature change isn’t convenient.
Utilities have used demand response to help balance the grid and prevent outages for decades. Honeywell has worked with more than 100 utilities to develop and deploy programs that curb the call for electricity, and is responsible for getting more than 2 million demand-response devices in homes. The associated technology was available only through a utility, however. Customers couldn’t buy a thermostat off the shelf or from a contractor, and enroll.
“Broadband access has created a new and far-ranging path for electric companies and homeowners to connect,” said Jeremy Eaton, vice president of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions.
“As a result, more utilities are moving toward a model that allows customers to bring their own device to a program, increasing the likely participants and savings exponentially.”
If just a quarter of U.S. homes with central air conditioning joined these programs, the country could cut the demand for energy by almost 19 gigawatts — equivalent to the generation capacity of nearly 250 of the power plants utilities rely on to meet peak electricity needs.