California to expand communications between buildings, utilities

May 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm  •  Posted in News  •  0 Comments

Beginning in June, energy consumers and utilities in California will be required to deploy two-way, automated energy management systems that communicate fast demand response signals via broadband or wireless platforms. Every new or retrofit thermostat, HVAC system, networked lighting controller and building automation system in California will require demand response capability.

The California Energy Commission offers one open-source technology, OpenADR, which can be used for messaging between utilities and buildings. OpenADR is expected to become ubiquitous in California. The technology is built with public funds, creating a free and open-source standard.

Currently, Universal Devices’ project in a five-building commercial property in San Jose has cut down the complex’s utility bills by approximately 20 percent simply by responding to the simple version of OpenADR.

Jeremy Eaton, president of Honeywell’s Connected Home business, stated that Honeywell is taking on the state’s OpenADR opportunity at both the whole-building and the smart-thermostat levels. Eaton said that the company has pledged to make all of its Wi-Fi thermostats demand-response-capable this year.

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