Innovative pilot aimed at conserving energy and helping prevent power outages
ecobee, a subsidiary of Generac Power Systems (NYSE: GNRC), today announced the launch of a pilot program with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) designed to help prevent power outages caused by extreme weather, sustained high heat, and natural disasters. In the event of an emergency, eligible ecobee customers in SDG&E’s service territory will receive a notification when slight, temporary temperature adjustments are needed on their ecobee smart thermostats to reduce demand and help avoid an outage. Customers can help their community by remaining opted into the program or they can skip the event if they’re unable to take part.
“At ecobee, we remain committed to offering innovative smart home solutions that address real problems customers are facing, such as the rise of power outages due to the prevalence of extreme weather brought on by climate change,” said Kari Binley, Senior Manager, Energy Partnerships at ecobee. “We’re excited to launch this new and innovative solution with SDG&E, which will allow more ecobee Smart Owners in California to help their communities and automatically conserve energy without sacrificing their comfort, all while helping to create a more resilient power grid.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States recorded 22 weather and climate disasters in 2020, a nearly 40 percent increase from the year before. As extreme weather becomes more frequent and severe due to climate change, electricity experts and California officials have warned that states may not have enough power to continue to reliably meet demand.
The power grid is a challenging balancing act – extreme weather, persistent heat waves and natural disasters cause increases in demand and stress on the power grid, resulting in energy shortages. Through participating in this pilot program during periods of extreme vulnerability for the electrical grid, ecobee and SDG&E customers can save energy and help prevent potential power outages in their communities.
“Smart thermostats are another tool in our toolbox to empower our customers to manage their energy usage in a way that benefits them financially, while also helping to support grid reliability for all Californians,” said SDG&E Director of Customer Programs Hollie Bierman. “By partnering with smart thermostat makers on pilot programs like this, we hope to make energy savings as easy as possible.”
Customers who qualify for inclusion in the pilot program will receive an email from ecobee announcing the details of the program. When an energy emergency occurs, they will receive a notification informing them of the energy supply shortage.
How it works:
- An energy emergency is called, indicating grid reliability issues that could result in power outages for customers. These events are typically only called a few times a year.
- Customers will receive a notification on their ecobee mobile app and thermostat screens informing them of an upcoming slight temperature adjustment and how long it will last. ecobee Smart Owners can open the ecobee app to learn more and remain opted into the program, or skip the event right from the app. The thermostat will pre-cool the home before the temperature adjustment takes place to help maintain comfort.
- Customers who choose to help their community will see a temporary temperature adjustment of one to four degrees, lasting no more than four hours to help stabilize the grid and avoid power outages. Customers will always remain in control of their comfort and can choose to stop saving energy mid-way through the energy shortage, if desired.
“Over the years, ecobee has demonstrated its dedication to energy efficiency and grid resiliency by improving everyday life while creating a more sustainable world,” said Binley. “We’re proud to expand those efforts even further today with this latest collaboration with San Diego Gas & Electric.”
Since launching the world’s first smart thermostat in 2009, ecobee has helped customers across North America save more than 25 TWh of energy, which is the equivalent of taking all the homes in Los Angeles off the grid for a year.
To learn more about this pilot program, visit the FAQ page.
For more on ecobee’s suite of industry-leading energy efficient products and solutions, visit ecobee.com.
ecobee Inc. was founded in 2007 with a mission to improve everyday life while creating a more sustainable world. Since launching the world’s first smart thermostat in 2009, ecobee has helped customers across North America save more than 25 TWh of energy, which is the equivalent of taking all the homes in Los Angeles off the grid for a year. Today, ecobee continues to innovate with smart home solutions that solve everyday problems with comfort, security, and conservation in mind. With ecobee’s products, including the SmartThermostat with voice control and SmartCamera with voice control, and its Smart Security home monitoring system, ecobee continues to encourage Smart Owners to imagine what home could be. In 2021, ecobee joined Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNRC), a leading global designer and manufacturer of energy technology solutions, and other power products. Generac and ecobee share a vision to deliver a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for customers and communities. The Generac and ecobee home of the future will be more comfortable, resilient, and efficient. For more information, visit ecobee.com.
Fatima Reyes, Senior Communications Manager, ecobee