< Browse more articles

HRAI staff participated in a number of provocative discussions at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s 15th Annual Industry Partners Meeting last month in New Orleans, including the latest energy efficiency trends, and the path to integrated homes and connected buildings.

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) consists of US and Canadian efficiency program administrators responsible for developing strategies to accelerate the commercialization of energy efficiency solutions to benefit gas and electric customers, utility systems, and the environment. CEE members are investor-owned or municipal utilities, state or provincial energy offices, government agencies and non-utility program administrators.

CEE develops numerous product specifications, including communication thermostats and equipment for water heating, space heating and cooling, which define tier levels that are used by utilities and program administrators to support their incentive programs. Many of the specifications now include optional connected criteria. The US EPA is also looking to incorporate connected appliances into the ENERGY STAR specifications.

Industry experts revealed recent social science research findings on how customers view energy efficiency and these insights are used to guide incentive program strategy.  One of the findings was that consumers will generally not give up family harmony for the sake of energy efficiency.  Comfort and safety messages do not resonate on their own and energy efficiency is not the primary driver when sourcing a solution for a smart home.

BC Hydro representatives shared information on an energy management trial slated to start on November 15th and run until October 31, 2020.  One thousand customers who sign onto the trial will be connected via their smart speaker (Google Home or Amazon Echo) to get advice on how to reduce their energy consumption, what rebates that are currently available, how their energy usage compares to the their neighours and more.

For more information contact Caroline Czajko at HRAI, cczajko@hrai.ca