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Green Button Data and Your Smart Meter

Let’s dig into how Bidgely actually works, why energy disaggregation is awesome.

Our end-users have written to tell us that, “I’m a big fan of the product.” Every month, we all receive a utility bill (88% of all households by mail and just 12% of households online) that tells us how much electricity and gas we consumed over the past month and how much this cost us. But unlike a phone bill or a credit card bill, which break down spending into categories (evening/weekend minutes, text messages, etc.) or individual items (rent, movie tickets, groceries, etc.), a utility bill traditionally only provides an overall dollar amount and energy consumption in terms of kilowatt-hours and therms, which does not mean much to most people – even energy nerds.

Today, utilities have installed smart meters in more than 33% of their customers’ homes. This is good for the utility, since it allows them to ensure that their energy supply meets demand. But is it good for me, the customer?

The simple answer is yes. This enhanced information means that utilities and third parties can help consumers better understand their energy consumption and help them take actions to save energy and money. The White House Green Button initiative came out of this idea: consumers should be able to access their information easily and connect it to tools and apps that will help them make smarter decisions about their energy consumption.

Enter Bidgely. Massive amounts of utility data on their own are neither interesting nor useful. But we know how to read it, analyze it, and make it actionable. Just like people, household appliances are creatures of habit. Your refrigerator, for example, ramps up and down in the same pattern every day. So do systems that you control directly, like your washer/dryer, air conditioner, and microwave, all of which have recognizable patterns. These patterns are called energy signatures.

This is where the real value of energy disaggregation kicks in. Because without energy disaggregation, you would have just faced a big bill. But with energy disaggregation, our system sent her an alert when she accidentally left her stove on overnight. And it told her that the reason her utility bill was high was not simply because of the cold summer, but was actually because her house needed better insulation. This saved her over $400 last year.

Wow, that’s actually pretty cool. Smart meters do deliver value to people like me.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for the future of home energy management, and Bidgely is excited to be at the forefront. We hope you sign up next week to see the benefits of energy disaggregation firsthand. In the meantime,please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and connect to us on LinkedIn. We’ll keep you updated on the latest developments and make sure you save!

Bidgely. More power to you!

Originally published 10th July 2013.

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I head marketing at Bidgely. With lots of history in the IoT space, energy and control (homes, buildings, cities and grid), and gaming, you'd hope I have something to say! Let's change the world - Steve

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