The Future of Energy Management

May/June 2006
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2006 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2006
Computers, wireless technology, and the Internet bring advanced energy management to multifamily buildings built more than 30 years ago.
        The integration of information technology, building controls, and property management has already been well established in expensive commercial buildings. Residential applications may seem further away, but early pilots suggest that there is great potential.Wireless and Web-based technologies have made possible verifiable nighttime temperature setbacks, gradual temperature reductions, customized scheduling, peak-demand limiting, and peak-demand response, with historical documentation and good resident acceptance.         The organization that we work for, the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA), recently completed a demonstration project using a new wireless energy management system.The system brings information technology concepts to energy management and offers community weatherization agencies a role as project sponsors and providers of energy monitoring and reporting services. This is AEA’s second pilot of the control system for electric baseboard heating. Two more pilots are ongoing in other multifamily buildings using a similar technology platform for decentralized A/C control. The Project         The demonstration project reviewed in this article is a large, low-income multifamily complex in Far Rockaway, New York, called Ocean Village. Built in the 1970s, the complex of 1,100 apartments is outfitted with baseboard ...

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