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Earth Networks, an operator of weather, lightning and climate observation networks, has announced the results of its e5SM home energy-efficiency and demand-response program that debuted this spring in more than 1,000 homes in the Houston area.

The program was the result of a collaboration with CenterPoint Energy and technology partners EnergyHub and Radio Thermostat.

e5 combines real-time, neighborhood-level weather conditions, a thermostat management platform, Internet-connected thermostats and smart meter data to help homeowners conserve energy, stay comfortable and save on their electric bills while helping utilities shift grid load during peak times, Earth Networks explains.

Based on a third-party analysis of a representative sample of thermostats in the Houston area during three separate demand-response events this summer, the e5 program demonstrated the following results:

  • On average, e5 removed an average of 1.2 kW of load for the duration of the peak-hour demand-response event when activated within an hour’s notice of the demand-response event.
  • In a subset of efficient homes, enough energy was stored via pre-cooling that the air conditioner did not need to turn on at all. This occurred in the 24% of thermostats that shifted between 2 kW and 6.33 kW. In all cases, efficiency was achieved without raising the indoor air temperature by more than 2 degrees F above the homeowners’ thermostat set point.
  • During a demand-response event, an efficient home reduced 2.87 kW of load while only experiencing a 1.5 degree F increase in home temperature. A less-efficient home shifted an average load of 1.89 kW, with a maximum temperature increase of 2 degrees. In contrast, with traditional 50% A/C cycling, the efficient home would realize a load reduction of only 0.2 kW, while the less efficient home would shift only 1.1 kW and experience an increase in home temperature of at least 4 degrees F, according to Earth Networks.

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