EnerAllies Demands Change with New Patent − Demand Response Programs are Due for an Update

As energy supply and demand remains an issue, companies such as HoneywellJohnson ControlsEnergyHub and others are continuing to roll out patents for consumer energy devices like smart meters and programmable thermostats; however, the demand response programs themselves have stayed mostly the same. Individuals enrolled in demand response programs receive benefits in exchange for reducing their energy usage during times of high demand or low supply per the request of their utility provider. In many of these programs, providers can control the smart thermostats of enrollees during times of peak energy demand.

Texas residents enrolled in Smart Savers Texas, a demand response program overseen by EnergyHub, a company focused on distributed energy management (DER) and demand response solutions, experienced a thermostat takeover on June 16th, 2021 when the average temperature outside exceeded 90°F. Demand response programs alleviate stress on the energy grid but it has been shown that high temperatures simply move the strain to the body’s cardiovascular system, which works to cool the body off. In this sense, demand response programs could pose a risk to the elderly, infants, or people with heart problems who are seeking shelter indoors from the extreme heat.

EnerAllies, Inc., an energy management company, has an interesting approach to demand response programs. Its most recently granted patent (11,041,646), issued on June 22nd, 2021, claims a method in which a central management unit can use machine learning, geographic information and weather data to simultaneously control energy management devices located at several different sites within a geographic region. The company’s targeted customers for this technology are small and medium sized businesses, which they say consume 20% of US energy. By offering a demand-response-like program for businesses, the grid and those counting on the grid may experience less stress. It is anticipated that this sort of approach to demand response will become more prevalent as companies look for other areas to cut down on energy usage.

Check out the Demand Response Patent Forecast® to see the newest trends in Demand Response devices and programs.