The Internet of Everything (IoE) will eventually connect everything that we use in our homes, automobiles, and workplace as well as the infrastructure in the cities we live in. By connecting all these things and making them more efficient, the hope is we will be able to use the resources we have available to us more effectively.
The implementation of smart grids by power companies is designed for that very purpose. They want to control the usage of energy by consumers so it can be managed, especially during peak times when resources are stretched to the limit. Honeywell (News - Alert) is giving the customers that use the company's Wi-Fi enabled thermostats the option of allowing utility companies access to the thermostats in order to manage power usage across the grid.
To accomplish this feat, the company has updated the software to the millions of thermostats around the country with Wi-Fi capability. This is designed to give power companies the ability to control the thermostat during peak energy usage. Even a small adjustment of the temperature of thousands of homes at the same time can dramatically improve the availability of energy. With millions of Wi-Fi enabled units being sold by Honeywell around the world and working in conjunction with more than 60 utility companies, the result can have a measurable impact in the global carbon footprint.
Power companies provide incentives for participants of demand response programs, which are designed to increase efficiency by the power companies and increase awareness to consumers.
Demand response is an approach that uses consumer participation in how the electrical grid operates by lowering or shifting electrical consumption during peak time in response to time-based rates or financial incentives. The United States Energy Policy Act of 2005 has mandates in it to identify and capitalize on the benefits of demand response. This has resulted in increased customer participation in the programs, and according to Navigant Research the participation level of demand response is expected to double by 2020. Customers can be engaged by offering them time-based rates such as time-of-use pricing, critical peak pricing, variable peak pricing, real time pricing, and critical peak rebates.
The Honeywell Wi-Fi enabled thermostat is one component of an overall approach to using the energy we produce more effectively, but it requires the participation of everyone that has one of these devices installed in their home or place of business.
Edited by Alisen Downey