Invensys' "GoodWatts" Functionality Recognized by California

April 14, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

In a recent ruling, the California Public utilities Commission (PUC) ordered California investor-owned utilities to file and serve plans to test the functionality of residential energy management systems as a means of improving energy efficiency. The California PUC’s decision (R.02-06-001), requires California utilities to file plans to evaluate the demand response capabilities of a full-scale system containing the features found in the Invensys "GoodWatts" system by July 1, 2003.

The GoodWatts system allows utilities to remotely control air conditioning systems and appliances over a secure network. The system works by shifting large household energy loads from peak to off-peak times of the day. By gathering data on the real-time energy requirements of specific loads in individual homes, the GoodWatts system can reduce utility system peak demand, and give utilities the ability to control loads during such periods in an environmentally sensitive and cost effective way.

In addition to the tools it offers utilities, the GoodWatts system also allows homeowners to manage monthly energy costs by viewing their electricity consumption over the Internet. The system can be installed in any home with access to a cable network, and includes advanced energy management devices including a new whole house electric meter, an advanced thermostat for heating and cooling equipment, and sub-meter controls for major electrical appliances such as water heaters and pool pumps. Using a cable network to ensure the integrity, security, and privacy of the data, the GoodWatts system communicates with these various devices and allows the utility to measure the exact amount of energy consumed by each appliance.