Networked, "smart" thermostat
A lot of home energy-efficiency technology is already available and being used. This a networked thermostat from Comverge which manages demand response programs for utilities. As happened this summer, utilities sometimes struggle to keep up with electricity demand due to the high air-conditioning load. A demand response program changes the settings on thermostats in hundreds of locations, effectively acting as a virtual power plant to meet the added demand. The programs are voluntary and people are compensated for participating in them. This thermostat has lights to indicate whether a home is in a peak period and communicates with Comverge through a small wireless gateway. This type of demand response technology was used to avoid blackouts in New York during this summer's heat waves.
August 23, 2010 4:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Comverge
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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