EcoFactor is a company that you may begin to hear about in your neck of the woods. Today, they announced the results of several pilots and deployments of a personalized, SaaS-based solution for managing residential energy use. The results: households using EcoFactor saved an average of about 17% per month on energy and up to $56 per month in energy costs.
What’ s interesting about EcoFactor is the fact that the customer doesn’t need to compromise comfort, change behavior, or monitor energy consumption — EcoFactor works in the background to save up to 30% on heating and cooling costs.
For example, here’s how EcoFactor works in North Texas. A customer pays $19.95, and EcoFactor installs a communicating thermostat that uses the customer’s internet to interface with EcoFactor’s energy management service. Like cruise control for a car, EcoFactor keeps the customer’s desired temperature but optimizes it to save energy. The service is free for six months and raises to $8.99 per month after that, according to the Dallas Morning News.
EcoFactor uses the thermostat as a sensor and identifies each home’s unique thermal characteristics, while taking into account occupant preferences and weather patterns, and uses this data to determine how to most efficiently heat or cool the home at all times, according to information obtained from EcoFactor.
“[EcoFactor] works because we’re going beyond basic remote controls that just make the specific changes that consumers tell them to – and thus can only save energy to the extent the homeowner understands how to reduce usage and change their behavior accordingly. EcoFactor does it automatically, maintaining desired comfort levels while delivering big reductions in energy use,” said John Steinberg, CEO of EcoFactor.
As a matter of fact, a majority of programmable thermostat users manually adjust their settings and use them incorrectly, according to research by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs. EcoFactor helps by optimizing how the thermostat works according to the customer’s feedback and adjustments.
The EcoFactor system has been made available to customers through several demand-response trials run by utilities, but it could be made available in the future through other channels such as high-speed internet and home security system providers.