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Can smart thermostats combined with SRP’s time-of-day plans save customers even more?

Laura Kier

December 31, 2014

Salt River Project has implemented a study to determine whether customers on a specific time-of-use program can save even more energy each month with a smart thermostat.

Customers who are on the EZ3 program save money by reducing their energy use during SRP’s peak hours.

As part of the study, SRP is currently installing smart thermostats in 250 current EZ3 customer homes to determine if they can assist in efficiently maintaining a comfortable temperature in homes throughout the day.

Smart thermostats use new technology that allows customers to communicate with the thermostat via their personal computer, mobile device or tablet. They can direct the thermostat to increase or decrease the temperature of the home in response to the price of electricity. The smart thermostat also has the ability to learn the characteristics of a home, including how quickly the home changes temperatures during the day, and can adjust accordingly.

“The purpose of the study is to determine the savings that customers might realize with these smart thermostats while on a time-of-use program such as EZ3,” said Lori Singleton, Director Emerging Customer Programs. “Additionally the goal is to find ways to help reduce SRP’s electric load during peak hours.”

Currently EZ3 customers save an average of six percent each month, but Singleton said she expects to see additional savings with the installation of smart thermostats. The studies will continue for two full summers to understand how these thermostats will work during the hottest months of the year.

SRP is working with EnergyHub, a leading energy management and demand response software provider, to install the smart thermostats and conduct the studies.

“We’re pleased to be working with Salt River Project on this innovative program,” said Mike Bates, General Manager, Utilities at EnergyHub. “With interest in time-of-use rates growing, the ability of EnergyHub’s platform to optimize thermostat performance and save money for customers is more important than ever.”

The study is part of a larger research project with Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and 10 utilities including Pacific Gas & Electric and Tennessee Valley Authority.

If proven effective, SRP will consider offering rebates for the devices.

SRP is a community-based, nonprofit utility serving more than 990,000 customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

Click here for EZ3 price plan information.

PATTY GARCIA-LIKENS, SRP

Patty.Likens@srpnet.com

@SRPpatty

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