Affordable Wi-Fi-Enabled Water Heater Controllers Lower Energy Rates and Boost Utility DERMS and ToU Programs
Virtual Peaker, a cloud-based SaaS company empowering modern utilities with the friendliest distributed energy platform on the planet, and TrickleStar Inc. (TrickleStar – CYW), an industry leader in energy efficiency solutions, have integrated their technologies so they can offer controllers to upgrade standard water heaters into smart Wi-Fi-enabled devices that save money, lower energy bills, and maximize solar energy systems—without having to buy a new water heater.
By integrating Virtual Peaker’s DERMS suite, Shift, using Gravity Connect open-spec API with TrickleStar’s devices, utilities can apply machine learning and real-time control to optimize and scale up DER initiatives while minimizing the impact on residential customers. Water heater controllers are affordable, easy-to-install after-market items that allow standard units to be upgraded to smart water heaters that reduce cost and peak load. They also avoid the significant cost and potential negative environmental disposal ramifications of purchasing new units.
The TrickleStar Electric Water Heater Controller leverages Wi-Fi connectivity, smart scheduling, and the TrickleStar Energy Portal and App to control residential hot water supply. Compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, the TrickleStar device can be retrofitted to most types of electric water heaters in the United States. Participating utilities should support time-of-use (ToU) rates and/or demand response events to make the best use of a water heater controller. TrickleStar’s controller maximizes the benefits of homeowners’ solar arrays, so residents can use ToU rates to determine whether to use their power for the controller or feed it to the grid to maximize energy cost savings and renewable energy use.
“It’s clear that utility customers don’t want to go to the significant expense of buying new water heaters just to participate in DERMS initiatives, and it’s also clear that they want to save money and help the environment by making the simple yet significant addition of a water heater controller to turn it into a smart device,” said Virtual Peaker Founder & CEO, Dr. William (Bill) Burke. “We’re looking forward to sharing this new integration with our utility customers in the States and around the world.”
“Working closely with Virtual Peaker, we’re excited to provide affordable after-market controllers that allow standard water heaters to be easily upgraded to smart devices,” said TrickleStar CEO, Bernard Emby. “With the TrickleStar portal and app (available for both iOS and Android), residential customers can quickly configure their personal preferences and optimize heating to synchronize with their utility and solar generation system.”
By the end of the year, Virtual Peaker and TrickleStar also plan to integrate TrickleStar’s TS 2501 Smart Thermostat.
About Virtual Peaker
Virtual Peaker is a cloud-based distributed energy company that empowers modern utilities to build the grid of the future and meet global decarbonization goals. The SaaS company’s platform suites unify all aspects of DER management, from DERMS to customer engagement and load forecasting. Virtual Peaker is a remote-first company that currently employs more than 45 people in various locations across the United States. Thanks to a recent $16.6 million venture funding round led by global technology and sustainability investors, Virtual Peaker is expanding its support for forward-thinking utilities that can lead the transformation to a more sustainable electric grid. For more information, visit www.virtual-peaker.com and follow the company on LinkedIn and Twitter (@VirtualPeaker).
TrickleStar manufactures affordable, award winning, simple and easy-to-use products, which help everyday people reduce energy consumption in their homes and workplaces. With offices in the United States (Grand Rapids, Michigan and Wilmington, Delaware) and Malaysia, TrickleStar leads in the design and manufacture of products that conserve energy, improve people’s lives and minimize environmental impact. For more information, visit www.tricklestar.com and follow the company on LinkedIn.