Carrier to Supply Touch Smart Thermostats Though Silver Spring Networks

Carrier will provide one of America’s utilities with its ComfortChoice thermostat for a successful energy demand management program. Carrier, a manufacturer of high-technology heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration solutions, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. Carrier will supply approximately 40,000 ComfortChoice Touch Smart thermostats through Silver Spring Networks, a platform and solutions provider for smart energy networks.

The ComfortChoice thermostats supplied to Silver Spring will be used by Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) for its SmartHours program, which is striving to reduce peak demand for electricity and avoid building any new, incremental fossil-fuel fired energy generation until at least 2020. “Managing energy consumption programs like SmartHours is an exciting prospect and opportunity for Carrier to further establish our expertise in energy management,” says Chris Nelson, president, North America HVAC Systems & Service. “Carrier is committed to working with utilities across the country to create smart, sustainable communities where industry and utilities partner for the benefit of consumers.”

The ComfortChoice Touch Smart thermostat features an easy-to-use color display with precise temperature control that allows customers to program their usage preferences based on peak pricing signals sent from OG&E. Thus far in the program, OG&E residential SmartHours customers with programmable thermostats have achieved an average peak reduction of about 2kW per home. The program achieved approximately 70MW peak demand reduction from 40,000 SmartHours customers in 2012, reaching a total of 110,000 homes by the summer of 2014.

The program, which uses Silver Spring’s standards-based IPv6 network, contains dynamic pricing that signals customers when to shift their energy use to match usage to off-peak hours. Price signals are then delivered through the end-to-end Silver Spring CustomerIQ solution, providing customers with timely, decision-making information as well as automatic response from smart thermostat technology based on personal preferences. Customers receive notice of peak pricing a day ahead to manage their energy use more efficiently.

“Smart thermostats have enabled our customers to automate their response to dynamic price signals and notifications and effectively reduce their peak consumption and the amount of their bill,” says Mike Farrell, senior manager of analytics and support, OG&E. “From the first customer study through our third year of deployment, the program and its supporting technology have sustained high-performance results. It’s proved to be an important contributing factor for reducing peak demand, a key goal that benefits our company and our customers.”

“Homeowners benefit from lower energy costs while peak demand for electricity decreases,” says Nelson. “The combination of the SmartHours program and Carrier’s ComfortChoice thermostats is great for the environment and for consumers.”

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