Press Release Summary:
Designed for utility-sponsored demand response programs, UtilityPRO(TM) is digital touchscreen programmable thermostat that enables utilities to improve communication with customers through customized text messages. Intuitive logic and menu-driven programming help users maximize energy savings while maintaining comfort. It also offers touchscreen interaction and large backlit display, and includes online programming capabilities to adjust settings via Internet.
Original Press Release:
Honeywell UtilityPRO Helps Utilities Manage Demand and Homeowners Maximize Energy Savings
New Thermostat Gives Utilities Greater Control of Peak Energy Use, Improves Customer Communication
MINNEAPOLIS, March 6 -- Honeywell (NYSE:HON) today introduced UtilityPRO(TM), a digital touchscreen programmable thermostat designed specifically for utility-sponsored demand response programs, which help limit energy consumption when the demand for electricity is at its highest. Featuring a sleek design and simple, user-friendly interface, the new thermostat will help utilities drive program participation, giving them greater control over peak energy use. Utilities also will be able to improve communication with customers through industry-leading features like customized text messages.
"From the classic round thermostat to today's programmable touchscreens, Honeywell is synonymous with temperature control and comfort," said Kevin McDonough, general manager of Honeywell Utility Solutions. "Now, we've applied this expertise to create a thermostat for electric utilities. We're confident utilities and their customers will embrace this technology like millions of homeowners have throughout our 100-year history."
Utilities implement demand response programs when energy consumption peaks and strains the electric grid, resulting in higher prices for both utilities and customers. Smart thermostats or other load control devices in homes and small businesses give utilities the ability to cycle equipment like air conditioners on and off for short periods of time. Utilities also can use more sophisticated strategies with thermostats, such as temporarily increasing set points.
By controlling peak energy use, utilities can stabilize prices, reduce the need for additional power plants, and avoid disruptive brownouts and blackouts. In return for participating, customers usually receive a discount on their monthly bill or a free programmable thermostat, which can help further reduce their energy costs.
The challenge with existing demand response thermostats, however, is that they can be difficult for homeowners to program and operate, decreasing the potential for maximum cost savings. Additionally, existing thermostats don't allow utilities to completely leverage the link to customers the technology provides.
UtilityPRO addresses these concerns by adding the latest demand response features to Honeywell's award-winning, best-selling programmable thermostat.
With UtilityPRO, homeowners and businesses get a thermostat that is simple to use and effective. Its intuitive logic and menu-driven programming help users maximize energy savings while maintaining comfort. UtilityPRO also offers top-of-the-line features like touchscreen interaction and a large, easy-to-read backlit display. And it includes online programming capabilities so users can adjust settings via the Internet.
From a utility's perspective, the thermostat provides a load control device that has widespread customer appeal. This makes it easy to get people to sign up for demand response programs, which means greater control of peak consumption. In addition, UtilityPRO helps improve customer service by allowing utilities to communicate directly with customers through customized text messages -- an industry first. Specifically, utilities can send information like weather forecasts and updates on other conservation programs. Another unique feature: the thermostat can provide customers with billing data, including current rates, month-to-date charges and year-over-year usage comparisons.
Honeywell also plans to add two-way communication capabilities to the thermostat. As a result, utilities will have real-time insight into energy use at the household level, providing a path for future smart grid implementations.
"Thermostats are the 'face' of demand response -- they're the tangible hardware that home and business owners see and use," McDonough said. "So they can have a significant impact on the success of a program."
Pilot demand response programs with Honeywell UtilityPRO thermostats are in development. The thermostat will be widely available for utilities by Q2 2008.
Honeywell Utility Solutions, a division of Honeywell Building Solutions, has 25 years experience designing and implementing demand response programs for utilities. The business has installed more than 950,000 load control devices to date, which makes it the largest implementer of residential demand response in North America. It also provides smart metering, and energy and water conservation solutions to utilities. For more information, visit http://honeywell.com/utility.
Honeywell International is a $36 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For additional information, please visit www.honeywell.com/. Honeywell Building Solutions is part of the Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions business group, a global leader in providing product and service solutions that improve efficiency and profitability, support regulatory compliance, and maintain safe, comfortable environments in homes, buildings and industry. For more information about Building Solutions, access http://honeywell.com/buildingsolutions.
Aaron Parker of Honeywell
Web site: http://honeywell.com/utility