MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Honeywell (NYSE: HON) today announced that UtilityPRO™ has become the fastest-selling thermostat for utility-sponsored demand response programs. Since the technology was introduced in 2008, Honeywell has shipped more than 350,000 of the touchscreen programmable thermostats, which give utilities control over peak consumption while helping homeowners cut energy costs.
Thirty-three utilities in the United States and Canada have already selected the thermostat for their demand response efforts. By 2011, Honeywell expects UtilityPRO will give these utilities combined control of more than 500 megawatts of peak energy use — equivalent to the generation capacity of approximately 10 gas-fired peaking plants.
"Utilities are looking for ways to proactively manage consumption and meet their demand management goals with confidence, and advanced technology like UtilityPRO is the means to that end," said Kevin McDonough, general manager of Honeywell Utility Solutions. "UtilityPRO appeals to both utilities and their customers by combining precise demand response control with Honeywell's best-selling programmable thermostat and legacy of reliability."
UtilityPRO allows utilities to cycle air conditioners on and off for brief intervals when energy use and prices spike, usually on the hottest days of the year. Utilities can also use more sophisticated strategies like temporarily increasing set points or pre-cooling a premise prior to a demand response event. The impact on comfort is negligible, but the collective decrease in demand helps utilities stabilize prices, reduce the need for additional power plants, and avoid disruptive brownouts and blackouts.
In return for participating in these programs, customers usually receive a free, professionally installed UtilityPRO. However, unlike previous-generation thermostats, which have been difficult to program and operate, UtilityPRO provides the same features as top-of the-line thermostats found in home improvement stores. Its logic and menu-driven programming help users reduce energy costs up to 20 percent while maintaining comfort. UtilityPRO also offers features like touchscreen interaction and a large, easy-to-read backlit display. It includes online programming capabilities as well so users can adjust settings online.
From a utility's perspective, the Honeywell thermostat provides demand response technology with widespread customer appeal. This makes it easy to enroll customers into these programs, which translates to greater control of peak energy use. UtilityPRO also supports both one- and two-way communication, providing a migration path for smart grid implementations, and giving utilities additional insight into consumption at the household level.
Utilities and end users access UtilityPRO through a built-in communication module. In addition, utilities can communicate directly with customers by sending customized text messages — an industry first. Specifically, they can send information like weather forecasts, and updates on other efficiency and conservation programs.
Honeywell Utility Solutions, part of the Building Solutions business, specializes in all aspects of demand response from program design and load control technology to marketing and customer support. With 30 years of experience in the utility industry, it the largest implementer of residential demand response in North America. The company has given utilities combined control of more than 1 gigawatt of peak electrical use. It also provides smart grid, and energy- and water-conservation services to utilities. For more information, visit www.honeywell.com/utility.
Honeywell International (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 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 more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.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 www.honeywell.com/buildingsolutions.
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