Home Energy Promises – Roundup Follow-up

In the last post, I gave a shortlist of home energy dashboards. While that list could be expanded to rival a phonebook with the myriad of energy products out there, this post will instead focus on the common promises they all purport.

Product Typical Claim High Claim Qualified Claims? Claim Within Typical Bounds?
Control4 5-10% 25-30% No specific case studies posted or readily available. Yes
TED 20% 50% Studies immediately available, how-to-save guide also available. No
PlotWatt n/a 50% No studies referenced, only anecdotal “beta” users. No
Energyaware 5-20% 20% Studies referenced, none linked. The “fact sheet” does not include references. Yes
Tendril n/a n/a n/a n/a

The above table summarizes the following details for the products. Note that the column Claim Within Typical Bounds is personally subjective. From the claims given by each product’s literature, I’ve made a value judgement if the claim adds up to others within the industry. In my experience, claims of 15-20% are fairly normal. Remember, that’s the normal claim, actually achieving these figures, that’s a whole other story.

Also note this post mixes the language of claim and promise. It is true that the products are making normative claims and actual results have potential to lie outside this claim. I prefer to look at these claims as promises of what the product is to deliver for the customer. If a claim is to be made for a product’s potential, as an uninformed purchaser of said product I expect it to meet the claim. Understanding that a clouded statement of potential for a consumer product is akin to a company promise puts the quality of a solution in a different light.

Control 4

Blurb

Studies show that when consumers have more detail on their energy use, they find ways to reduce consumption by 5 to 10 percent. When utilities have variable, or time-of-use, pricing, consumers could cut electricity use by 15 percent at on-peak times, typically in the morning and early evening. Add automatic device control and savings can jump to 25 – 30%.

Promises

5-10% Initial Claim
25-30% Extreme Claim
Control4 and Energy

The Energy Detective (TED)

Blurb

With the installation of TED, you can immediately begin monitoring and controlling your energy consumption – which will also save money! Other ways to improve There are many ways to conserve electricity, but here is a list of cool, hot tips that are simple and effective.

Promises

No actual claim. Specific studies (with links!) are cited to show an expected typical 20% reduction.
20% reduction would “cover the price of the basic unit of TED in both the 1000 and 5000 series” from associated claims.
TED Energy Facts / FAQ

PlotWatt

Blurb

The PlotWatt Energy Dashboard then boils that insight down into easy-to-understand feedback and recommendations. Beta users have cut their bills by as much as 50%!

Promises

50% (as much as, that is)
Note that no papers, case studies or other examples are cited in this claim.
PlotWatt About

Energyaware

Blurb

Studies have shown that instantaneous feedback can reduce energy consumption by up to 20%.
and
Studies have shown that real-time feedback can reduce energy consumption by 5-20%.

Promises

5%-20% Initial Claim
20% Extreme Claim
Energyaware – Our Products (20% Claim)
Energyaware – The Energy Revolution (5-20% Claim)

Tendril

Blurb

Consumer engagement is critical to reduce energy loads and lower generation costs. Tendril Energize gives the consumer insight, choice and control of their energy use like never before. Energize encourages consumers to adapt, modify and compare behavior, based on personal goals and motivators.

Promises

No specific percentage
Tendril – Energize (product page)
Written by mackay on September 5, 2011 Categories: Energy Tags: , , ,
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