2016 NEEA Communicating Thermostat Market and Technology Research
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EQL Energy along with Mike Lubliner from Washington State Energy Office and Gregg Hardy provided the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance with the a regional market assessment of energy and capacity saving potential of engaging web-enabled communicating thermostats in residential homes with electric space heat. The technical achievable potential is 153 MWa and over 2,000 MW of winter capacity reductions.

Some surprising results included:

  1. Electric resistance HVAC sales continue to grow 1%/year. For instance, Cadet Heat, Inc. continues to sell 200,000 baseboard and wall heaters in the PNW.
  2. Ductless Heat Pumps only achieve 50% of potential home savings because of 1) auxiliary resistance heat, and 2) increased comfort and air conditioning in summer.
  3. Web-enabled communicating thermostats could address these issues by:
    • controlling secondary heat
    • Improved sensors (e.g., auto-away)
    • Combined equipment control and coordination (e.g,. resistance heat lockout above certain temperatures.)

The table below shows some of the technically achievable potential in Northwest energy and capacity savings .


Next steps:

  1. perform lab research on WCT ability to control multiple devices, e.g., DHP, line voltage thermostats, etc.
  2. Field studies to include consumer behavior.