Minneapolis, February 1, 2011 — Honeywell received a two-year extension to its contract with CPS Energy, managing installation and support services for the utility’s Peak Saver demand response program.
The program — available to residential, multi-family, and small commercial customers in the San Antonio, Texas, area — helps decrease electricity use when demand on the grid and production costs are at their highest.
CPS Energy is able to stabilize fuel costs by reducing the need for additional power plants. In addition, participating homeowners receive a Honeywell UtilityPRO touchscreen programmable thermostat, which can cut day-to-day energy costs up to 10 percent or more.
Since Peak Saver launched in 2003, Honeywell has installed more than 42,000 demand response thermostats. And as part of the new extension, the company plans to install an additional 22,000 thermostats by the end of 2012. When combined, CPS Energy will be able to reduce about 21 MW of electricity consumption when the demand for energy peaks.
Customers who enroll in the program get a free Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostat for utility-sponsored demand response programs. UtilityPRO includes wireless technology that allows CPS Energy to communicate with the thermostats and temporarily cycle air conditioners on and off, only on the hottest days in May through September.
The impact on comfort is negligible, but the ability to temporarily curb energy use in thousands of homes helps decrease the strain on the grid, especially since central air conditioners account for almost 15 percent of the electricity consumed by U.S. households.
In return, homeowners get a thermostat that can lower monthly utility bills. The thermostat’s menu-driven programming walks users through a series of simple questions to establish a schedule, helping increase savings while maintaining comfort. UtilityPRO also offers touchscreen interaction and an easy-to-read backlit display — as well as the ability to program the thermostat online, from any location.
Honeywell specializes in all aspects of residential demand response from program design and load-management technology to customer recruitment and support. The company was also one of only four non-utility companies to receive a Smart Grid Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant will support a critical peak pricing response program that will help commercial and industrial facilities automatically implement energy management strategies to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Honeywell has given utilities the ability to manage a combined total of more than 1 GW of peak energy consumption. It also provides smart grid, and energy- and water-conservation solutions to utilities.