Utilities testing new smart device for homes

- Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli has announced a funding grant of $182,000 from the Ontario Power Authority Conservation Fund for a Technology Demonstration project to be undertaken by ASE Smart Energy Inc. ASE, an Ottawa-based emerging engineering and technology company.

The project is a one-year Technology Demonstration of ASE’s RetroSAVE product in 35 homes across Ontario, beginning this fall. Other project partners include Enbridge Gas Distribution, Hydro Ottawa and Toronto Hydro, which are providing support.

The Gas Technology Institute GTI, a not-for-profit independent technology corporation, was selected to provide the project analytics. The goal of the project is to determine the amount of energy consumption that could be avoided in normal homes.

RetroSAVE, an adaptive product, reduces home energy costs while at the same time enhances overall heating and cooling comfort throughout the home. RetroSave reduces the temperature differential, especially between floors and can help solve seasonal heating and cooling issues by balancing the airflow in a sensible way.

“RetroSAVE is part of a collaborative effort to put conservation first, helping consumers manage their energy bills while delaying the need for new generation and transmission facilities,” said Bob Chiarelli, Ontario's Minister of Energy. RetroSAVE doesn’t require any modifications to the existing forced air ductwork. Through a central smart controller located near the furnace, RetroSAVE receives environmental information from sensors located throughout the home. Automated smart diffusers, placed in the home’s floor registers, balance the amount of airflow in the various areas. RetroSAVE’s sensors currently measure temperature, humidity, light levels and motion.

ASE Smart Energy will be launching the product commercially in early 2015, and selling it via established sales channels that offer professional installation.


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