Lessons Learned and Evaluation of 2-Way Central A/C Thermostat Control System
This was presented at the 2005 International Energy program Evaluation Conference in NYC. The abstract is shown here, with a link to the complete paper below. (There’s a link to the conference presentation as well.)
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison), in cooperation with the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) and other state agencies, has been working to address their growing summer peak, most recently through control of residential and small commercial Central A/C systems via a two-way system for thermostat control. Con Edison performed an assessment, implemented a pilot program and full-scale rollout of this technology, which communicates with the Central A/C thermostat via two-way pager, and enables features such as confirming feedback, recordable customer overrides, monitoring and thermostat access via internet by both customer and utility, utility control of either thermostat setpoint or duty cycle limit, and collection of hourly runtime and temperature data for virtually all units.
This paper presents background on the program, lessons learned, and impacts from the perspective of both the utility and the participants, including kW impacts and customer satisfaction.
The program was pilot-tested on both residential and small commercial customers, with a residential full-scale rollout of over 10,000 units a small commercial rollout expected for mid-2005. The utility controls the units when system or regional capacity constraints warrant it, can verify participant receipt of control signals, and determine whether and when the participant overrode the control.
Based on hourly runtime, temperature and customer override data, an impact analysis compared the control days with corresponding baseline days. Participants were surveyed to determine their impression of various aspects of the program, including their comfort and overall satisfaction with the program and a report was provided to the NYPSC (Con Edison and AEG, 2004).
Overall, the program was considered successful, achieving sufficient kW impacts to justify its initial cost, and was well received by regulators and participants.