Managed by Honeywell, Energy Optimizer is designed to reduce peak energy consumption from June to September, when air-conditioning use reaches its highest levels of the year.
The demand-response program, which was launched in 2005, features the installation of programmable thermostats in residential homes and small businesses. The thermostats include a paging system that allows KCP&L to communicate with the thermostats and cycle air conditioners off and on for brief intervals. This only happens on the hottest days of the year, when energy consumption peaks.
Energy Optimizer is part of KCP&Ls strategy for meeting Kansas Citys future energy needs. To date, 18,000 thermostats have been installed, exceeding the three-year program goal in less than two years. By extending the program, the utility plans to install an additional 13,000 thermostats.
We are very pleased with the success of this program, said Kevin Bryant, vice president of Energy Solutions for Kansas City Power & Light. The Energy Optimizer program helps us defer the need to build additional peaking-power plants while helping customers save on heating and cooling costs year-round.
KCP&L customers who enroll in the program receive a free, professionally installed programmable thermostat, which can reduce the home heating and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent. The thermostat also includes online programming capabilities, allowing users to easily adjust their settings from work or other remote locations.
Honeywell provides all program management, marketing, installation and customer service functions for Energy Optimizer.
Almost every house has an air conditioner, and a variety of appliances and electronics, and the burden on the electrical grid continues to grow as a result, said Kent Anson, vice president of Global Energy for Honeywell Building Solutions. Programs like Energy Optimizer are essential to help utilities keep electricity affordable and protect the environment for future generations.