In the US, investor-owned utility company Con Edison (Con Ed), is rewarding customers up to US$125 who sign up to their 'coolNYC' programme, which allows homeowners to control their air-conditioning systems using a smartphone or mobile device and encourage energy saving behaviour.
Air-conditioning systems are considered to be one of the most energy intensive appliances in the home. According to the US Energy Department, these heating and cooling systems cost US homeowners more than US$11 billion each year with regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently.
Rewarding customers for energy saving
The New York-based utility, offers its customers 'coolPoints', and participants can earn between US$25 and US$125 in coolPoints just for signing up, connecting their AC units to Wi-Fi, and using them throughout the summer.
Homeowners can connect to the coolNYC platform through a Wi-Fi enabled AC or smartAC kit, which allows customers to control the AC from their smartphone and computer.
After signing up, consumers will be able to participate in coolNYC Events, which occur during times of high electricity usage and typically coincide with very hot days.
Partnership with ThinkEco
Con Ed has partnered up with Internet of Things (IoT) technology company, ThinkEco to manage the coolNYC programme. The smartAC kit provided by the ThinkEco comprises two elements - the Modlet (Modern Outlet) and the thermostat remote.
According to the New York-based IoT tech company, the " modlet captures minute-level data and provides customised scheduling to automatically turn devices on and off. The modlet communicates wirelessly to the ThinkEco cloud so that connected devices are available anywhere, anytime."
Hence, the room reaches the user's target temperature, the electricity to their air-con unit is switched off.
Tim Edden, director of customer experience at ThinkEco told a local news source, "from the smartphone app, you can see the temperature in your room as well as turn your air conditioner on or off remotely."