The Green Leaf

Free energy kits

July 6th, 2016

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The Blue Planet Foundation, in partnership with Bidgely, an Energy Excelerator portfolio company and Hawaiian Electric, is offering free home energy monitoring kits to 750 homes across Oahu.

The software kit allows participants to measure how much energy their homes and specific appliances – like the refrigerator or water heater – are using at a given time via an app.

It will also include tips and fun energy challenges that participants complete for the chance to win prizes.

The pilot program's goal is to equip households and businesses with the tools they need to take control of their energy choices, and shift power consumption patterns to better match renewable energy supply as well as reduce peak energy demand.

"We're making the invisible, visible," said David Aquino, Blue Planet's director of innovation. "Many residents get a $200 energy bill at the end of the month and have no idea how, when, or where that energy was used."

Blue Planet will schedule and provide free installation of the energy kits which will involve hooking up a device to the circuit breaker box (should take no more than 30 minutes). The Bidgely HomeBeat app will display in-home energy consumption and the breakdown of energy use by each appliance, via a smartphone or online, with real-time alerts.

Bidgely has launched similar programs in other parts of the U.S., including in 2014 with Pacific Gas & Electric in northern California, which found that monitoring appliances yielded up to 7.7 percent in energy savings among about 850 participants.

Results from the Oahu pilot program should be released at the end of the year.

Visit blueplanetfoundation.org/powerchallenge to schedule an installation.

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