U.S. firms introduce more smart energy solutions and services

U.S. firms introduce more smart energy solutions and services
At least four American companies in the energy industry introduced new smart tech-related solutions this month, which shows that smart energy applications are gradually gaining traction in the country, where security has long been the focus of smart tech applications.
 
Earlier this month Portland General Electric announced (PGE) plans to file a proposal for a Smart Grid Test Bed that will integrate smart grid technology on a scale allegedly never before attempted in the U.S. The two-and-a-half-year project will be carried out in three Oregon cities: Hillsboro, Portland and Milwaukie.
 
PGE is building and testing smart grids that will enable more than 20,000 customers to take advantage of special demand-response signals and incentives for using smart-home technologies, giving them greater energy efficiency opportunities and increased control over their energy use and carbon footprint.
 
PGE will help customers automate their smart devices, such as thermostats, water heaters, electric vehicle chargers and batteries, to work in concert with PGE as it operates the grid. During times when demand for electricity is especially high, customers can decide on an event-by-event basis if they want to participate in reducing their overall energy consumption.
 
Also, Texas-based electricity provider Reliant Powers said it will power 25 homes and equip them with Nest smart devices through a collaboration with Houston Habitat for Humanity.
 
Each home will be outfitted with the Nest Secure alarm system starter pack and the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. As part of Nest’s national Power Project with Habitat for Humanity, the homes will also have a Nest Thermostat E. The suite of smart home technology will give families more control of their energy management.

AI for smart energy analytics

 
AI-powered energy analytics provider Grid4C and digital marketplace HomeAdvisor together launched a solution that can identify faulty or inefficient home appliances. The solution – which is designed for utility providers – will even quantify the costs of the appliance inefficiency, and guide consumers to schedule appointments with service provider through HomeAdvisor’s network of home improvement professionals.
 
“Customers want to be alerted when there are issues or anomalies inside their homes,” says Shane Fay, Grid4C’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. The top six use cases for why customers will invest in smart home technology are all related to alerting customers when anomalies are detected in their homes, and identifying faulty or inefficient home appliances addresses this demand, Fay added.
 
By adopting the solution, utility providers will also grow revenues by directing customers to purchase energy products through their online marketplaces, or meet energy efficiency mandates by delivering energy savings, Grid4C says.
 
Sunverge Energy, another company serving utility provider clients, announced enhancements to its platform to enable “intelligence on both sides of the meter.” Sunverge uses data at the edge of the grid to optimize home energy management systems and smart devices in concert with real-time grid and behind-the-meter conditions.
 
More specifically, the optimization can be achieved with self-learning algorithms to dynamically orchestrate load shifting of air conditioners and other controllable loads in the home to minimize demand charges, the company says.
 
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