By Celis Brisbin, Programs Manager

Green Building Community, 


I hope that you all are enjoying a well deserved Labor Day weekend! If you have not heard, the MIT Climate Colab is in its final week of public voting and the buildings category has a few ideas which could be a catalyst to the green building mission. One of the final ideas, Open Control Building, has been a project that I have been working on with Alec Danaher and Scott Balboni, both members of the USGBC MA! The idea is to use a third party to temporarily turn off your smart electric device for a period of time, while power plants rev up. This is called demand response and there is a commercial market for this and rate payer can make money this way. The idea allows residential home energy management systems like the Nest, and EV chargers to tie into the program and increase impact/revenue. 
There is a more robust explanation below via link. Your support would really help. Please forward to your network if you would like to share the idea and support. Please vote!…

Thanks and have a nice weekend,





Buildings consume more than 39% of all energy consumed in the U.S. each year. More stringent building energy codes and advances in lighting and HVAC technologies have reduced the energy use intensity of buildings. A study by the EIA indicated that new homes built after the year 2000 are on average 30% larger than homes built before the year 2000, but use only about 2% more energy (EIA, 2013). Energy Used in Buildings

As construction standards improve and more efficient equipment is installed in homes, additional savings must come from improving the way we control the energy-consuming equipment in the home. Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) can optimize the energy use within a home by coordinating the timing of lighting and HVAC systems, as well as an increasing number of “smart” devices. Additionally, HEMS systems can benefit both homeowners and grid operators by increasing the ease and compliance with demand response events.

One of the primary challenges of implementing a HEMS system is the upfront cost to purchase and install the equipment. Additionally, the large variety of technologies on the market can create choice paralysis that makes it difficult for consumers to select and implement a system for fear that they are betting on a system that will not integrate with future technologies.

We propose promoting the widespread implementation of Home Energy Management Systems by providing simple systems at no cost to homeowners in exchange for their participation in automated demand response events. We will install a smart thermostat and a few simple controls in homes and provide homeowners with a secure platform to integrate our controls with other smart devices they may have in their home. Homeowners will then have the nucleus of a HEMS system – provided free of charge – to which they can then add additional components to outfit their smart home. 




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