Remote Device Can Save Energy
As temperatures begin to climb this summer, Con Edison and ThinkEco have partnered to launch a window air conditioner program that will allow customers to use less energy, protect the environment and help maintain reliable service during times of peak demand in New York City.
Con Edison and ThinkEco plan to create smart A/C control through “modlets” on 10,000 New York City air conditioners, resulting in five megawatts of demand reduction, enough power for 5,000 homes. Con Edison plans to distribute the modlets this summer in large apartment buildings throughout New York City, working with building owners and tenants to install the energy saving devices.
The modlet (found online at www.themodlet.com/demo.html) is a simple plug-in smart outlet that can be controlled by a smart A/C thermostat and a user’s online modlet account, allowing customers to control the temperature setting of any win- dow air conditioner. Customers can remotely turn on/off their A/C from any smart phone or browser, and set the temperature.
In addition, users can preset schedules through any web browser, so that their window air conditioners only turn on when needed, transforming the stand-alone window air conditioner into a smart, networked device that gives users enhanced convenience and control. Customers who participate in the program will also be alerted when a peak usage event is called, and Con Edison will adjust the unit’s temperature.
With over six million window air conditioner units in Con Edison’s service area-which sometimes run unnecessarily when residents are not home-the ability for Con Edison to adjust air conditioner temperatures remotely during a heat wave could help to manage peak summer demand.
“Con Edison continues to increase engagement with our customers by introducing new technologies that help them save energy, save money, and protect the environment,” said Rebecca Craft, director of energy efficiency programs of Con Edison. “Our work with ThinkEco is forging a new way to help reduce the energy waste associated with window air conditioners, while keeping city residents comfortable during heat waves.”
The coolNYC program (www.coolnycprogram.com), created by ThinkEco and Con Edison, is a new approach to managing residential peak usage by combining easeof use in controlling window air conditioner thermostats with an incentivized program that uses realtime energy tracking capabilities.
Con Edison can use the ThinkEco system to reduce strain on the grid by sending signals to participating customers’ air conditioner units when demand peaks.
The program technology allows Con Edison to focus on any geographic area of high priority during an emergency.
“The coolNYC program is proving how New York City residents are highly receptive to using smart consumer oriented products that save energy and enhance personal convenience,” said Erik Katz, CEO of ThinkEco. “As electrical demand continues to increase, we need to ensure a way to relieve pressure on the grid in the absence of new capacity.”
Visit www.thinkecoinc.com to purchase a modlet and checkout https://themodlet.com/demo.html to see how easy they are to use. Participating residential customers receive the modlet smartA/C kit, which integrates Con Edison’s intellectual property with ThinkEco’s modlet platform. The smartA/C kit includes a modlet, a remote-control thermostat and access to a web-based application.
ThinkEco is a former tenant of the New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy (NYC ACRE at NYU-Poly) the NYSERDA funded clean-tech incubator helping transition New York to a lowcarbon future.