Are Smart Thermostats the New CFLS?

The U.S. energy efficiency industry has been bemoaning the lack of low-hanging fruit – inexpensive and easy energy savings – now that efficient lightbulbs are fairly ubiquitous. Could smart thermostats be the new replacement? Events in Chicago last week suggest so. The smart thermostat is starting to show scale. In what project sponsors say is … [Read more...]

The Jetsons’ Age of the Automated Home is Here, and it’s Looking Gooood.

Melissa Baldridge, of GreenSpot, reviews smart, automated home products that can drive significant energy and water savings.   The Nest “learning” thermostat triggered its dawn in 2011, and ex-Apple engineers who founded Nest Labs the year prior jolted a nerdy industry like HVAC with Nest’s jewel-like design and cell phone control.  Since the … [Read more...]

You Are Cordially Invited to a Texas Demand Response Party. BYOT.

We’ve all been invited to BYOB parties, but how about bring-your-own-thermostat? That’s one way to describe an unusual demand response program Austin Energy is testing for homeowners. It’s what Austin Energy refers to as a “retail up” program, one where the utility does not install smart devices in the home, but finds and uses those that the … [Read more...]

Rising Market: Maine’s Energy Efficiency Spending Doubles Part II

Maine is achieving energy savings in many tried-and-true ways – weatherization, fuel switching and installation of high efficiency light bulbs. But the state also is not afraid to explore the new and promising. The Efficiency Maine Trust, an independent entity in charge of the state’s efficiency efforts, is test driving three up-and-coming … [Read more...]

Looking for Smart Grid Funding? Consider Ontario

Energy insiders have been talking up 'smart grid' for about a decade, but most regular people still don't recognize the term – unless they're from Ontario, that is. Smart grid awareness runs high in the Canadian province because almost every household and business there now has a smart meter – 4.7 million in total. And Ontario’s government isn’t … [Read more...]