As I was chatting with Shaun this evening about his personal quest to abstain from using his furnace in his new home, I realized that the concept of a "car pool" and "mass transit" can be extended to climate control.
It is common in some states (e.g. California) to have HOV/Car Pool lanes to encourage people to commute as a group to reduce emissions and traffic. Why can't the same idea be applied to homes, during periods of extreme temperatures?
When it is very warm out, does every individual household need to have it's air conditioning running? Especially when the entire family isn't around. Why not hang out at the library, a movie, or even the local coffee shop?
Similarly when it is cold out, why not bundle up and go to a public place? Do we really need to heat a whole house for one person?
By increasing the 'capacity utilization' of buildings where the climate is controlled to an optimal level, we are essentially "Temperature Pooling" and efficiently reducing energy waste. Why drive separately when can commute together? Why heat/cool several homes, when we can deal with the extremes by going to a utilized public place.
When people turn off their thermostat and leave for their crowded workplace, they typically are reducing energy waste. The tricky part is to ensure that the workplace is also efficiently climate controlled to reduce waste. This is where companies like ConsumerPowerline come in to streamline your corporations energy use and then sell it back to the grid! Like Trilogy's value services model, they only get a cut of the actual savings they produce.
Andrea Orr from The Deal.com, writes:
"ConsumerPowerline's value comes in helping companies audit their energy usage and diagnosing ways to cut consumption. The company uses proprietary software to forecast an enterprise's future energy demand and potential savings from making basic operational changes, such as closing down a few elevator banks or switching from daytime lighting to maintenance lighting.
The process starts with ConsumerPowerline engineers reviewing a new customer's facilities. The team then proposes a plan for conserving energy during periods of peak usage, such as a hot summer day in New York.
ConsumerPowerline then auctions on behalf of its customers any megawatts of electricity it saves back to local utilities, with energy companies bidding for it as long as six months before the power is due to be used. ConsumerPowerline charges no up-front fees for its services, instead generating revenue from selling energy and sharing the money, typically under a 50-50 split, with customers."
CarbonGage.org is in the discussions with ConsumerPowerline, Comverge, GridPoint, and EnerNoc, for potential opportunities to work together (much of their auditing can be replaced with CarbonGage's automated data streams).