Engineering the Customer into the Solution

May/June 2008
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2008 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2008
Most conservation and demand-side management managers can agree that conserving energy is much more cost-effective than securing additional energy resources. Consequently, various innovative conservation and pricing strategies are being tested and adopted by utilities as they seek to lower costs and conserve energy.  Blue Line Innovations offers utility customers an innovative tool that encourages energy conservation and educates residential customers on the cost of running their homes. This tool is called the PowerCost Monitor; it is an in-home display device that shows customers how much energy their home is using from moment to moment, in the hope that this information will change their consumption behavior and ultimately reduce their electricity usage—an incentive that both the customer and the utility can appreciate. So does real-time feedback on energy usage actually lead to lower electricity usage?   Yes, and not only do customers save after initial use, but they continue to conserve energy over a long period of time. In 2007, Blue Line Innovations completed a 30,000-unit deployment to Hydro One Networks residential customers (winning Blue Line Innovations an award for Outstanding Energy Efficient Technology Deployment of the Year from the Association of Energy Services Professionals). This deployment was the ...

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