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The Energy-Driven Smart Home is Here

October 7, 2018

Today, a disconnect exists. Traditional energy efficiency solutions remain detached from home automation. Likewise, our smart homes are void of energy management. This gap continues to hinder adoption as siloed solutions deliver a partial experience. By combining energy with automation, we can engage customers in a new relationship with energy while unlocking future growth opportunities for electric companies.

Other channels are vying for the home energy management space. They see the value in energy usage data and the potential to capture the attention of energy customers. Rather than yield these opportunities to tech companies, the energy industry needs its own solution—turning energy management into the key differentiator in the connected home. While the current relationship stops at the meter, it’s not a big jump to consider electric companies going further.

DTE Energy was one of the first to push past the meter. In 2013, DTE Energy tapped technology experts to create a connection to the meter, fueling a new customer experience with the DTE Insight app. The results to date have been impactful—tallying 400,000 downloads and more than 15 million sessions. Through Insight, DTE Energy successfully engaged customers in a real-time energy experience—delivering average household energy savings of 8–9 percent.

DTE Insight provided the proof that customers wanted to engage with energy and take action. Other electric companies took notice of Insight’s success, seeing an opportunity to apply the solution across the industry. Given this potential, DTE Energy launched Powerley in 2015.

As a joint venture between a major electric company and an established tech company, Powerley delivered the secret sauce—a closed-loop solution connecting energy with home automation. Now, working with 13 other electric companies, Powerley continues to proliferate the energy-driven smart home.

Today, DTE Energy and Powerley are taking energy management to the next level—tapping the home to deliver deeper intelligence. Users now have access to their own personal energy coach, DTE Advisor, a step on the path to fully autonomous home efficiency. With the latest release of Insight, DTE Energy also is piloting home energy management, offering new smart home service subscriptions and marketplaces.

As customers customize their homes with more smart devices, electric companies can extend the smart grid further into the smart home.

“Together with Powerley, we have proven the potential that lies behind the meter,” said Dave Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer of DTE Energy. “We have turned energy into an experience while creating a platform to fuel DTE Energy’s growth.”

Originally published on Electric Perspectives.

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