WattTime Partners With Energate to Launch Green Smart Thermostat Solution to Automatically Power Homes on Clean Energy
WattTime’s software, launching in Beta in partnership with Energate’s HōlHōm smart thermostat, has the potential to remove the annual pollution created by 3.6 million cars
Every time the heat or air conditioning cycles on inside your home or office there’s a good chance the electricity powering it is coming from a dirty power plant, which contributes to mercury and carbon dioxide pollution, harming the environment. What if there was a way to select the power plant your energy comes from, so your house could run on green, clean energy? Today, that’s finally a reality.
WattTime, the nonprofit creating technology that makes using clean energy as simple as tapping your smartphone, is announcing a closed beta pilot in partnership with Energate, creator of the HōlHōm smart thermostat, as a critical first step in its mission to give any thermostat the ability to selectively use clean energy. A recent $600,000 grant from The Great Lakes Protection Fund is helping WattTime directly integrate its software into smart devices in the Chicago, Illinois area in order to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants as well as carbon dioxide, the leading driver of climate change. Chicago-based nonprofit, the Delta Institute, will conduct testing and results and is selecting beta testers through Chicago’s Earth Day celebration, as well as through select HVAC techs and local hardware retailers. Chicago residents can sign-up to participate at www.WattTime.org.
“We couldn’t think of a better pilot partner than Energate. Their robust, flexible technology aligns perfectly with our goal to put powerful, climate change fighting tools in the hands of consumers,” said WattTime Executive Director Gavin McCormick. “It’s environmentalism, made effortless. Simply set ‘Clean Power Mode,’ and then forget it. You’ll never sacrifice comfort, and WattTime runs your house on clean energy without ever raising the monthly bill.”
Homes using the WattTime HōlHōm solution will have the option to turn on “Clean Power Mode.” This prompts air conditioners or electric furnaces to detect moments when clean power plants have surplus clean energy to sell, purposefully syncing cycles to these instances to reduce energy waste and cut back on the production of dirty power. This is streamlined to work well with the natural “on-off” cycles of air conditioners and heaters, and takes advantage of common surges in clean energy caused by windmills experiencing sudden gusts of wind, for example. WattTime’s timing-based approach ensures users are directly reducing pollution from dirty plants, not just redirecting the dirty power towards someone else’s home, a distinct innovation compared with existing green power technologies.
“Mercury pollution harms both people and wildlife in the Great Lakes Region,” said David Rankin, Vice President of Programs at the Great Lakes Protection Fund. “We are delighted to support WattTime and its partners in tackling this problem. By shifting energy usage away from power plants that emit mercury, the WattTime team will change the energy conservation discussion from ‘use less’ power to ‘use better’ power and will give consumers and easy and verifiable way to do that.”
In WattTime conducted surveys, nine out of ten consumers say they would choose a smart home thermostat with Clean Power Mode over a competitor without a “green” alternative. One of the great things about WattTime’s software is that it can be seamlessly integrated into any smart thermostat through a simple software update. If results of the pilot are positive, the 3 million U.S. homes powered by smart thermostats could have access to this technology within a year.
WattTime’s technology has been made possible through years of research and development, mentorship and funding from tech nonprofit accelerator, Fast Forward, and funding from the Great Lakes Protection Fund and Google.org. Energate and WattTime’s mission is supported by a broad research coalition of scientists from the University of California Berkeley, Wayne State University, Delta Institute, Rocky Mountain Institute and the National Wildlife Federation.
WattTime is an environmental non-profit spinning out of the latest power grid research by University of California, Berkeley PhDs. WattTime’s “environmental demand response” platform makes it possible for any smart device to automatically run on electricity from clean power plants. Forward-looking companies partner with WattTime to empower their users to make a real difference for the environment that is as easy as pushing a button. For more information, please visit www.WattTime.org.
Energate Inc. provides interactive energy management solutions that enable next-generation energy management and the connected home. Energate’s vertically integrated Consumer Connected Demand Response™ platform provides management of two-way communication and demand response events through a flexible solution that includes devices, middleware, and applications. Energate’s Internet of Things solution is an interoperable architecture that has been proven in the homes of more than 40 North American utilities’ customers. www.energateinc.com
About Great Lakes Protection Fund
Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF) is a private, nonprofit corporation formed in 1989 by the governors of the Great Lakes states. It is a permanent environmental endowment that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. To date, the Fund has made 265 grants and program-related investments representing over $75 million to support the creative work of collaborative teams that test new ideas, take risks, and share what they learn. www.glpf.org
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