Through its Green City 2020 Action Plan, the City of Vancouver is focused on leading the world in green building design and construction. The plan anticipates all new construction will be carbon neutral in 2020 and existing buildings will reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 20%.
With almost two thirds of the energy used in Canadian homes going to space heating and cooling, an opportunity exists for the City of Vancouver to reduce energy consumption and GHGs by improving system performance and control of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.
The City of Vancouver required an experienced and knowledgeable energy services consultant for an innovative Smart Thermostat Pilot designed to enhance household conservation, carbon reduction and energy-efficiency; positively change consumer behaviours, lifestyles and patterns of energy usage; and shape consumer attitudes to positively embrace new home energy solutions that support conservation and efficiency over time.
City of Vancouver
Ecolighten and project partners City Green Solutions created a comprehensive technical research project that comprised of program design, data analysis, survey design / administration / analysis and reporting.
The program plan met the strategic imperatives of the pilot and included: a new screening application process to ensure applicants met technical requirements; a high-impact marketing campaign; identification of appropriate data points; advice on utility data collection and reporting process for participants to self-report; and quality assurance and analysis to determine potential business case for full-scale demand management program. In addition, two surveys were designed and launched in collaboration with City of Vancouver staff.
All data was compiled, analysed (for energy savings, quantifying cost per tonne, projected versus modeled savings and other performance metrics), reported on and presented back to the City of Vancouver.
The City of Vancouver is very appreciative of the technical expertise and comprehensive research design that Ecolighten brought to the Smart Metering Pilot. Throughout the pilot initiative, the City enjoyed a great collaborative relationship with the Ecolighten team. This resulted in a positive research initiative that is helpful in informing how smart home technologies can fit into our green building program and policy work.City of Vancouver
Through their comprehensive and detailed approach, Ecolighten and City Green’s research design achieved the following results:
- Provided the design for a research pilot that was statistically relevant yet manageable for successful execution within the City of Vancouver
- Tested market acceptance, installation barriers and quantified energy and greenhouse gas emission savings of leading smart thermostat technologies
- Determined opportunities and limitations of the installation of smart thermostats as an effective tool for reducing home energy consumption and identified potential barriers to adoption, installation and usage
- Provided an important and wide-ranging contribution to the industry knowledge base on the impact of smart thermostats (e.g. the education required, level of engagement and understanding of consumer attitudes and behaviours with new control technology)
- Developed a potential template of City of Vancouver support that could be taken to scale in the subsequent phases of a smart thermostat program and/or future development of City of Vancouver home energy initiatives