Pilot recognized by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy in new report on effective behavioral approaches to improving customer energy efficiency

Barnstable, MA, November 4, 2010   Cape Light Compact’s Smart Home Energy Monitoring Pilot Program was recognized nationally in a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as a successful and measurable tool to help consumers save energy.

The ACEEE report, issued Tuesday, found that Cape Light Compact’s Smart Home Energy Monitoring Pilot was an “effective program model” that ”made innovative use of behavioral concepts by encouraging customers to set goals, compare their performance to other households, and educate each other” about energy savings.

According to the ACEEE, “the report’s case studies clearly demonstrate that behavioral change by individual consumers can lead to significant energy and cost savings. Applying social science to energy efficiency and conservation programs can effectively guide individuals and organizations towards increased energy efficiency and reduced energy use.”

The Smart Home Energy Monitoring Pilot was also acknowledged as “a starting point for future work,” which is already underway at the Compact.  Cape Light Compact will be launching phase two of the Energy Monitoring Pilot in 2011, seeking up to 1,000 Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard residential and business customers to participate.

“Cape Light Compact was the first Energy Efficiency Program Administrator in the country to offer this type of advanced energy-saving technology to our customers,” said Bob Mahoney, Chairman of Cape Light Compact.  “The recognition of our Smart Home Energy Monitoring Pilot by the ACEEE comports with our commitment to provide more innovative and engaging opportunities for local resident to reduce their electricity use and take control of their energy future.  We look forward to kicking off phase two of the Pilot and giving many more Cape and Vineyard citizens the chance to realize significant financial and energy savings.”

Cape Light Compact’s Smart Home Energy Monitoring Pilot was successful on many fronts, including customer savings and its objectives to save energy.  According to a report issued in April 2010 by independent evaluator, PA Consulting Group, Cape Light Compact’s 100 actively engaged pilot participants from Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard reduced their daily energy use by 9.3 percent or 2.9 kWh per day, the second highest decrease when compared to results from similar smart monitoring programs tested throughout North America.  Seventy-five percent of program participants reduced energy consumption during the program. One-third reduced average energy consumption by 4 or more kWh per day.

Over the course of one year, Cape Light Compact’s Smart Home Energy Monitoring Pilot participants conserved approximately 105,850 kWh of electricity, the equivalent of CO2 emissions saved by over 16 acres of pine forest or the greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recycling 25.6 tons of waste instead of sending it to the landfill.

The behavioral impact gained through the ability to monitor and control household energy use was noted by one Cape Light Compact Pilot participant in the ACEEE report.

“I’ve gone from doing three loads of laundry a day down to one load a day.  Once you realize the impact of one’s actions and how it affects energy use, one adjusts his/her usage, and that is what we’ve done.”

Cape Light Compact designed and implemented the Smart Home Energy Monitoring Pilot program in 2009 to evaluate potential energy savings from in-home energy monitoring systems, gain insight to behavioral aspects of energy use, and inform future residential Smart Grid projects. The response to the pilot announcement was outstanding, with more than 300 residents requesting an available spot in the program.  Participants were motivated to join the Cape Light Compact pilot so they could become more aware of their energy use and to reduce household energy.

Pilot participants had in-home monitoring systems, developed by GroundedPower, Inc. of Gloucester, MA, installed for a period of one year. They received information and training regarding the system and had access to an internet-based dashboard.  The online dashboard offered participants feedback on their energy consumption by providing real-time viewing of current energy use and demand, savings metrics in kWh, dollars, and CO2 emissions, and provided opportunities to learn about and sign-up for energy saving activities (e.g., unplugging chargers when not in use). Participants were also part of a community network and could view electricity usage of other similar households in the pilot and communicate with other pilot members each other through a social networking system.

Click here to view the entire report issued by the ACEEE.

About Cape Light Compact

Cape Light Compact is a regional inter-municipal agency authorized by 21 towns on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard to protect consumer interests, secure competitive electricity prices, and offer green power options for our 200,000 residents.  The Compact also provides a variety of activities and programs to support regional energy efficiency, renewable power development, and award-winning energy education.  For more information on Cape Light Compact’s energy efficiency programs visit www.capelightcompact.org or call 1-800-797-6699.

For more information:
Amy Voll · Cape Light Compact Communications
(508) 744-1267 · (508) 221-8531 (cell) · avoll@capelightcomapct.org