Google Assistant

Indiana Michigan Power will be the first utility to partner with Tendril and Google to provide customers with voice-activated energy information and notifications via the Google Assistant and Google Home devices.

The utility will use the energy usage data to optimise consumer smart home energy management and to ensure the reliability of the entire grid network.

The Tendril and Google platform will deliver energy insights through any device that supports the Google Assistant.

Consumers will be able to ask and get answers to questions such as:

  • Ok, Google, what is my bill amount?
  • Hey Google, how can I reduce my energy consumption?
  • Ok Google, what are some tips to save energy?
  • Hey Google, how is my home using energy?

This additional interaction with smart devices in the home builds on an existing effort between the two companies to better manage residential load using Nest thermostats.

Dave Lucas, vice president of Finance and Customer Experience, Indiana Michigan Power, said: “Enhancing the experience of our customers through new technologies and services to manage their energy use is important and we consistently evaluate how I&M can effectively leverage emerging opportunities to better serve our customers in the way they want to be served.

“As voice-enabled devices continue to proliferate within the smart home, our focus is on how we can enhance the value that these devices can provide customers in their daily lives. Google and Tendril, market leaders in their respective spaces, were a natural choice to work with us.”

The announcement follows Parks Associates reporting that by 2020, US households will have more than 2.3 billion connected devices such as smart speakers and thermostats.

To date, one in six Americans now has a smart speaker, according to NPR and Edison Research.