In cities such as New York, energy demand skyrockets as the mercury rises. Each heat wave brings with it warnings to reduce electricity consumption. ConEd’s CoolNYC program is an effort to reduce some of this demand, while keeping customers cool.
ConEd customers that sign up for the program receive an internet connected device that controls their air conditioner. The customer can set temperatures and on/off schedules using their computer or mobile device. In extreme demand conditions, ConEd can raise the temperature on these connected thermostats a bit, citywide to reduce the amount of power needed. While CoolNYC targets the six million window air conditioners in the city, customers with central A/C can enroll in a similar program for connected thermostats.
As a side note, there’s an interesting op-ed in the NY Times about getting more customers to sign up for energy saving programs. ConEd gives customers free devices and $25 gift cards, which may not be the most effective incentives–according to the op-ed contributor’s research.