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Need to Turn Down the Thermostat? Use Your Smartphone

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January 20, 2012

Need to Turn Down the Thermostat? Use Your Smartphone

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

Winter here in the Northeast usually means turning up our thermostats. When temperatures start to hit the single digits outside, many of us fear for our next month’s utility bill as we strive to keep it a toasty 70 degrees inside.

But what if there was a way to say, monitor and regulate temperatures from your smartphone? And what if the White House actually wanted you to do that? How do these things even go together?

Green Button initiative is a White House attempt at bringing utility companies and users together through mobile technology, all in the name of power consumption. Reducing it, that is.

The first to hop on board with the initiative are California’s three largest utility providers – Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison (News - Alert) – all of which are working to create this Green Button that will allow consumers to download their energy use with a simple click.

Edison, SDG&E and PG&E (News - Alert) are in the process of rolling out the energy-information program for the about 10 million customers, the companies said.

“The Green Button is an exciting step forward that continues to position SDG&E as a trendsetting, forward-thinking utility, and is one of many initiatives designed to offer our customers choice, convenience and control,” said Ted Reguly, SDG&E’s director of customer programs and assistance in a press release. “The Green Button exemplifies SDG&E’s move from the monthly bill cycle to accessible meaningful data. With customers in charge of how the information is used, we anticipate the data will be used in ways we haven’t even thought of yet.”

The three utilities are the first in the nation to adopt the technology, which uses a cloud platform developed by Tendril, a Boulder, Colo.-based company.

Tendril Connect is an open, standards-based platform that gives energy service providers and customers insight into usage and details on consumption.

The average savings of the San Diego participants who used Tendril automated control devices was 20 percent, compared with 9 percent for those who used the devices alone.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration, click here.

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.

Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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