April 6, 2017

California Wants to Cut Energy Waste by Making Homes Smarter

Energy consumption data & connected devices put families and businesses in control of their energy

Written by
Anne Arquit Niederberger

On April 6, 2017, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted a Resolution regarding utility compliance with cutting edge legislative mandates included in AB 793 to raise awareness of energy management technologies (EMTs) among residential and small & medium business customers and to provide incentives to purchase them.

The order launches an unprecedented effort to speed the adoption of technologies that empower consumers to manage their energy.

The Resolution calls on Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric to provide greater support to their online marketplaces (PG&E Marketplace, SDG&E Marketplace), powered by Enervee, where consumers can become aware of EMT offerings available to them, including updates of the marketplace to contain all relevant home energy management technologies. Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas will have to launch similar energy technology marketplaces that include energy efficiency, demand response and related energy management technologies.

All websites shall be updated or created by the 4th Quarter of 2017.

It also specifies the two types of EMTs to be included in the online marketplaces:

  1. Technologies that make use of household energy consumption data from California’s advanced metering infrastructure (often referred to as “smart meters” or AMI).
  2. Products that allow customers to manage energy consumption through off-site remote control and/or automation of load shifting and energy efficiency:
  • Water heaters and refrigerators with TOU peak avoidance
  • Pool and spa smart controls including TOU peak avoidance
  • Smart appliances (laundry, dishwashers, cooking)
  • Electric space heaters (with smart controls)
  • Energy storage (electrical, thermal, etc.) with smart controls
  • Timers and power strips that automate/schedule plug loads
  • Smart thermostats with ADR, efficiency optimization or remote control
  • Electric vehicles (on-board smart charging).

At Enervee, we’re delighted to support California’s investor owned utilities in complying with these new mandates, liaising with cutting edge technology providers and providing utility customers with a platform that can support their exploration of these emerging technologies.

Enervee has already integrated smart advanced power strips, thermostats and LED bulbs into existing utility marketplaces, and we look forward to expanding to technologies that put AMI data to work for customers.

Smart Thermostats on Enervee Marketplace

The Resolution also directs IOUs to follow-up with customers who complain about their bills, are behind on their bills, have been contacted about disconnection, or have been placed on a payment plan regarding potential EMT solutions to reduce their energy bills and avoid disconnection. This explicitly includes providing directions on how to access the updated energy technology marketplace website and understand the relevant product information that would be obtained there (product pricing, product rebates available, savings estimates for the products, customer reviews, etc).

As Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves stated at the CPUC Meeting on April 6th:

“This is certainly not a solution to all the problems, but is a small piece of our effort to try to improve, in every decision, the situation for the highest impacted ratepayers.”

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