Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Honeywell and Whisker Labs help homeowners reduce energy use

Steve Rogerson
February 2, 2017
Honeywell is to offer its utility customers intelligent home energy management software to help them maintain electrical grid stability. The software will help homeowners lower their energy costs and provide them with energy efficiency insights so they can see how their behaviour impacts their monthly energy bills.
Honeywell is collaborating with Whisker Labs and will incorporate its Connected Savings intelligent demand side management (IDSM) technology platform into its portfolio of software and services for utilities. The platform lets utilities manage demand response programmes, which shift energy use when demand for electricity is greater than the available supply to prevent brownouts and blackouts.
Connected Savings also lets a utility correlate energy usage data from other connected thermostats and Whisker Labs' proprietary weather data to model how a specific home will respond to different weather conditions that impact energy use.
The software works with most wifi thermostat brands and models, and will work with Honeywell's recently launched Lyric T5 wifi thermostat by this summer, enabling homeowners to take advantage of programmes offered by their local utility to reduce their energy bills while choosing how they manage their comfort.
"Utilities face a wide range of challenges, but they share the common goal of providing reliable and affordable power to their customers while helping them maintain comfort," said Nitin Kulkarni, president of smart energy for New Jersey-based Honeywell. "We know from experience that even small, incremental changes in energy use can yield significant results – from improving grid stability to trimming how much customers spend on their utility bills. Honeywell's work with Whisker Labs reflects our mutual commitment to deliver impactful services and technologies that drive these changes."
Connected Savings supports utility demand response and energy efficiency programmes by integrating data from connected devices with its proprietary data to model, manage and optimise home energy usage. This allows utilities to send intelligent instructions directly to a participating homeowner's thermostat to reduce home energy use temporarily when demand threatens grid stability, while maintaining the homeowner's comfort.
The platform's communications capabilities also allow utilities to send signals to change thermostat temperatures and scheduling for customers who opt in to energy efficiency programmes for increased energy savings.
Proprietary, hyper-local weather data are correlated to thermostat data to create a detailed and precise thermodynamic model for each home. With this model, custom real-time instructions are sent to control the thermostat to increase energy efficiency, optimise demand response and maintain homeowner comfort.
Using information from the thermodynamic modelling, the platform provides homeowners with scorecards detailing home efficiency down to the equipment level, along with tips for improving efficiency and boosting energy savings.
"By collaborating with Honeywell, Whisker Labs is able to bring our innovative demand side management platform, Connected Savings, to market with a proven leader and innovator," said Robert Marshall, chief executive officer at California-based Whisker Labs. "Together, we will bring our energy intelligence to more utilities and consumers, helping save energy during peak times and anytime that heating and cooling is used, while enabling a more sustainable environment."
The platform complements Honeywell's portfolio of hardware, software and services for utilities, which span customer marketing and engagement expertise to advanced metering infrastructure and technology, as well as smart, connected thermostats.
Honeywell and Whisker Labs demonstrated the technology at this week’s Distributech conference and expo in San Diego.