Tendril is trying to make the smart grid smarter about people.
The company announced today the release of Energize, an application that seeks to improve energy efficiency with a simple user interface and techniques borrowed from the field of behavioral science.
The product combines Tendril's software for managing home energy with tools that Tendril gained from its acquisition last year of Grounded Power, a small company with experience in smoking cessation efforts and other programs that rely on social psychology.
There are dozens of companies that make dashboards to give consumers a real-time display of their energy use via the Web or a dedicated device. These dashboards are meant to help consumers save energy, but experts say that successful efficiency programs depend heavily on what information is presented to consumers and how.
The Energize application seeks to get consumers actively involved by setting energy efficiency goals, measuring them, and then sharing them with others. The application can be accessed from Internet-connected devices such as smartphones or dedicated displays, or presented with paper reports.
Opower is another company that has successfully used behavioral psychology, data analytics, and Web-based tools to improve utility efficiency programs.
The announcement from Tendril, one of the most established smart-grid companies, was made at the DistribuTech utility conference. A number of consumer-oriented smart-grid programs are aimed at reducing peak-time power use and increasing customer efficiency.
Late last week, Tendril announced a deal with Whirlpool in which the latter plans to make connected, or smart, appliances that can be managed by Tendril's Connect software.