Smart thermostats and demand response – PLMA weighs up the cost-benefit


In the US, the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA) has set up a sub-group to study the cost-benefit analysis of utility programmes using smart thermostats.

The Thermostat Interest Group, led by two product developers from US utility Xcel Energy, seeks to examine the costs and benefits of all types of utility-sponsored programs that leverage smart thermostat technology to deliver demand response, energy efficiency, or other system benefits.

The group will not focus on a specific technology or solution.

Pilot scheme evaluation

In a statement, PLMA said the interest group intends to collect summaries and excerpts from published as well as not-so-public documentation such as utility thermostat pilot evaluations, along with reports and white papers that cover technology evaluations, program design concepts, market assessments and savings potential.

The Group is co-chaired by Brian Doyle, senior product portfolio manager, at Xcel Energy, and Lee Hamilton, associate product developer, at Xcel Energy.

Mr Doyle said: “Thermostat-related technical enhancements are driving utilities to revisit the device’s role in both demand response and energy efficiency program design and implementation.

“Our group aims to catalogue and share studies and experiences regarding thermostats-related program activities to improve how PLMA member organizations measure the energy and cost impacts.”