Washington, D.C., February 23, 2010 — At the invitation of a subcommittee of the Senate Committee of Commerce, Science and Transportation, Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck provided his views on the impact technology can have in promoting energy efficiency.
“We believe the transformation of the energy economy will be every bit as great as the transformation of the information and communications economy we have witnessed over the past 20 years,” Tuck told the subcommittee. “But while the consumer market is a powerful force for change, like all markets, it will only be truly effective when it has accurate and actionable information. Federal policy, supporting entrepreneurs and American competitiveness can provide that information and support innovation.”
Tuck explained that technology platforms, like Tendril’s, work by linking residential customers with the utilities, and enable utilities to provide consumers with simple-to-use devices such as smart thermostats and home energy monitors that allow consumers to manage their energy.
Benefits include less consumption of energy by consumers, which results in energy savings and lower carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, utilities are better able to optimize loads on the grid, and plan for the future by accommodating renewable generation, electric vehicles and smart appliances.
Tuck offered three observations to assist the federal government in leading the adoption of energy efficiency technologies and platforms:
* Real-time information is the key to driving energy savings. Today, there is no consistent policy regarding whether and how consumers can see how much energy they are using in real time. Only three states guarantee consumers the right to see their energy use so that they can take action to save energy. This information is collected at the wholesale level, but it does not flow down to the consumer in real time. The first step to federal coordination is to establish clear policies that ensure consumers and entrepreneurs have access to the data.
* The biggest barriers to innovation are economic, not technical. Most utilities have little incentive to sell their customers less energy, and in most states consumers do not have a choice of energy suppliers. Federal legislation can establish greater coordination and give state regulators more abilities to include national energy priorities within their economic analysis models.
* The ultimate driver of change will be the consumer. Like the information and communications revolution, consumers and market demand will drive adoption. Tendril and its partners are offering compelling solutions to consumers as part of utility programs and, where utilities are slow to move, without them. Consumer rebate programs initiated at the federal level could accelerate the deployment of home energy monitors and energy efficiency technologies to consumers who want them now.
Tuck was one of five experts to deliver testimony. He joined The Honorable Aneesh Chopra, chief technology officer of Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President; Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel; Kathrin Winkler, chief sustainability officer of EMC2 Corporation; and Lorie Wigle, general manager eco-technology program office for Intel.
Tendril is a leading energy management technology provider that brings unprecedented insight and control to the smart grid. The Tendril platform provides an open, secure and scalable end-to-end solution that creates a two-way dialogue between energy providers and their customers.