Wouldn’t you like to set your thermostat to “clean power mode”, and rest easy knowing that you are powering your household from clean energy sources? Us too. And with funding from The Great Lakes Protection Fund, Delta Institute, Berkeley nonprofit WattTime, and smart technology maker Energate are piloting a new, smart thermostat technology that will help you do that.
This spring, the team launched a pilot for Chicago residents offering Energate smart thermostats enabled with WattTime software, which will give participating households the ability to increase the amount of clean power they use, reducing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants as well as carbon dioxide, the leading driver of climate change.
Here’s how it works: Dirty power plants contribute to mercury and carbon-dioxide pollution, and the amounts of dirty power as well as clean power supplying the power grid fluctuate throughout the day. In homes, mid-size appliances like air conditioners and electric heaters turn on and off throughout the day, using varying amounts of electricity. The smart thermostats deployed in this pilot will learn patterns of the residents, and will draw more electricity to mid-size appliances when the power grid is supplied with clean energy, reducing the amount of carbon-based power your home uses.
Delta Institute and other partners, including WattTime, Rocky Mountain Institute, and National Wildlife Foundation will analyze the information collected in the pilot and develop a strategy to bring the technology to wider markets. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting pilot.
Learn more about WattTime and how it works at www.WattTime.org.