Apr 6, 2022 - Economy

Clean energy players eye home power consumption

Illustration of a pattern of light switches, all of them turned on except one.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A trio of clean-energy players are enabling the nation's largest competitive wholesale electricity market to reduce load by expanding demand-response to residential customers' thermostats.

Why it matters: Demand-response programs can help utilities and others avoid costly upgrades by enabling them to rein in demand at peak times.

The details: Google Nest, Voltus and Resideo (NYSE: REZI) are introducing this capability through a "bring your own thermostat" program.

Catch up fast: Voltus has developed software technology to help manage distributed resources. The company in December announced plans to go public via SPAC, with a valuation of $1.3 billion.

  • Resideo, a spinoff of Honeywell, provides smart devices and other home tech, as well as a distributed energy resource management system.

Go deeper: With the launch, the three companies say they're focusing on electricity markets that don't already have incentive programs in place for demand-response.

  • They estimate that about half of electricity customers in the U.S. don't have access to a thermostat-related demand-response program, Google Nest and Resideo tell Axios.

What they're saying: "As the grid is evolving, as there’s more renewables, there's more need for controllable load at the wholesale market level," Dave Oberholzer, a general manager at Resideo, tells Axios.

  • "The program we're doing here is to get experience in the wholesale markets with distributed residential load," he adds, "so that when the time comes, and when there's solar and wind that need to be accounted for as far as variable generation, there's variable load there that's available at the wholesale market."

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