US utilities reduce HVAC consumption by 85% 22 DECEMBER 2017

Tendril has announced the results of its Orchestrated Energy Summer 2017 rollouts within distribution networks owned by Indiana Michigan Power and Xcel Energy.

According to Tendril, its solution helped reduce HVAC energy consumption by 85% during demand response events. The technology also doubled the efficiency of smart thermostats.

On days when Orchestrated Energy was in control of the ecobee thermostat, Indiana Michigan Power and Xcel Energy reduced HVAC load by an average of 85% during the DR window, and delivered an additional 14% of HVAC energy efficiency savings on top of the 10% savings already provided by smart thermostats.

Additionally, customer comfort increased as evidenced by a 33% decrease in the number of times a customer adjusted their thermostat.

Orchestrated Energy – offered as part of Tendril Platform 4 – is a data analytics software solution to provide detailed insight into home characteristics, weather patterns and consumer behaviours. It is “the first cloud software solution enabling utilities and other energy providers to simultaneously optimise system operation and customer comfort. The solution is a continuous demand management (CDM) solution that calculates a home’s thermal mass, predicts consumer behaviour and integrates with connected devices, to create a unique dispatch schedule for every home, every day.

In a 2016 company release, it was stated that “in pilot programmes with some of the largest utilities in North America, Orchestrated Energy reduced HVAC peak load by up to 50% and lowered energy consumption from cooling by up to 20%.”

The solution helps utilities provide value within the connected home and establishes virtual power plants, an important technology in managing the integration of distributed energy resources.

Chris Carradine, Executive Vice President, ecobee, commented: “We were pleased to partner with Tendril and support our utility partners with the implementation of the Orchestrated Energy solution.

Adrian Tuck, CEO, Tendril, added: “These results are the culmination of years of groundbreaking work and lay a solid foundation for a future where utilities are taking innovative approaches to solving complex demand-side challenges.

“With Orchestrated Energy we are ensuring customers stay engaged, satisfied and comfortable during demand management events, while building a foundation for supporting non-wires alternatives and enabling the creation of virtual power plants, an important element to securing our energy future.”

How it works

Tendril Orchestrated Energy works with certain smart thermostats to further optimize energy consumption while ensuring the customer remains in a comfortable temperature range.

  • Customers are always comfortable: Similar to a smart thermostat, customers select a desired temperature range.
  • Personalized energy plans: With customer temperature preferences, Orchestrated Energy architects a custom cooling plan based on their individual preferences, local weather patterns and home characteristics.
  • Increased energy efficiency: The custom plan cools each individual’s home at the most ideal times, ensuring customers are optimizing HVAC systems all day long, while placing the least demand on the electrical grid. The algorithms of Orchestrated Energy allow the utility to improve upon the energy efficiency of smart thermostats.
  • Constant communication via a mobile app: Tendril’s MyHome mobile application gives customers insight into their unique cooling schedule and allows them to make changes, as needed.