Company Logo Friday, May 07, 2010

Powering People to be Smarter About Energy: ecobee, Festival Hydro and Direct Energy, look to digital landscape to help homeowners manage their energy needs

Date Fri May 7 2010 Category: Press Releases Written By ecobee and Direct Energy
Stratford, Ontario (May 6, 2010) – Energy consumption is a hot topic but, despite the hype around being more efficient and “going green,” many of us have yet to take advantage of new technologies in the market that will help us manage our energy bills.

Direct Energy, ecobee and Festival Hydro– all leaders in their respective industries – are hoping to change that when they discuss digital home energy management solutions at the 2010 Canada 3.0 forum.

With consumers at all income levels in mind, future cross-industry collaborations in the digital space could help demystify energy management, enable consumers to easily control their home energy use and costs remotely from anywhere through a secure, personal web portal or mobile device.

“We are committed to delivering a great consumer experience with the ecobee Smart Thermostat. We have worked hard to provide solutions that will allow utilities to be more responsive to customers’ needs for energy usage and pricing information, tailored energy options and greater individual customer awareness and control,” said Stuart Lombard, President & CEO, ecobee. “We are pleased to join Festival Hydro and Direct Energy to showcase a vision of providing innovative strategies for conservation, energy efficiency and to facilitate the growth of the smart grid.”

Here’s how an energy smart home can look in the future:

  • ecobee will leverage existing utility infrastructure and smart grid assets while delivering a robust, flexible and scalable platform for the future. At the center of the ecobee platform is ecobee’s hardware which provides full HVAC thermostat control as well as in home display capabilities.
  • Festival Hydro will provide the smart meter system – an integrated network of meters and communication devices that will provide homeowners with real time access to their electrical consumption, pricing, and historical trends. Customers can then make choices about when they use electricity by simply changing their usage patterns, or by using new technologies that use information from the smart meter to shift loads to time periods when demand and prices are lower. These could be smart appliances such as dishwashers and freezers, but also charging systems for electric vehicles.
  • Direct Energy will provide turnkey utility solutions meeting consumer Energy Management and Load Control program needs. Committed to helping homeowners every step of the way as they move into the future of home energy management, trained staff will provide installation of the device, customer care service, maintenance and reporting.

“We have come a long way thanks to new technologies becoming available in such a short period of time,” said Jac Vanderbaan, Vice-President of Engineering & Operations of Festival Hydro. “Connecting computers to a smart grid will tap into a whole new level of energy efficiency. These new digital platforms are easy to use and give homeowners control over their energy consumption. With these new tools, customers will be able to manage their energy usage and reduce their carbon footprint by shifting consumption to off-peak times when fossil fuel power generation plants are not being used.”

“Our goal is to put the power of knowledge in the hands of consumers while removing the burden so often associated with energy management,” said Scott Stewart, Director - Business Development, Direct Energy. “By being the turnkey solution provider for the utilities’ energy management and load control programs we’re making it simpler for consumers to adopt energy efficiency technologies and the applications of tomorrow. “

Demos of the ecobee Smart Thermostat will be provided at the Canada 3.0 conference, Stratford Rotary complex in Stratford, Ontario, on May 10th and 11th.

About ecobee
ecobee was founded in 2007 to deliver intelligent conservation solutions for real people. The company is building its product platform around The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™. ecobee’s products are being sold for use in single family homes (both new and retrofitted), multi-family dwellings and light commercial properties. In its short life, ecobee has already received several prestigious national awards and honors. For more information, please visit

About Festival Hydro
Festival Hydro is the electrical distributor for Stratford, St. Marys, Seaforth, Brussels, Dashwood, Hensall and Zurich, serving 19,000 customers, and is wholly owned by the City of Stratford. Festival Hydro is one of the first electric utilities in North America to integrate a smart meter system with a municipal Wi-Fi broadband system, providing customers with a standards based communication network that will allow multiple vendors to create devices that can be used on the system. For more information, please visit

About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services providers with over 5 million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 20 states plus DC and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit


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