Intelligent efficiency (IE) is the additional energy efficiency made possible through the use of information and communications technologies (ICT). IE builds on the increasing capabilities of devices to collect, process, and communicate data in real time to create value for building owners, utility operators, demand response providers, energy service providers, consumers, building managers, sustainability managers, and energy efficiency program managers.
Intelligent efficiency is beginning to make an impact in the commercial and residential sectors through products such as connected, intelligent thermostats, and in the commercial space through networked lighting systems that are capable of measuring, reporting, and adjusting to light levels, occupancy, and temperature. Other nascent technologies related to intelligent efficiency include no or low touch energy audits performed using data analysis techniques and enabled by “big data”.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) develops, it is expected that more applications for intelligent efficiency will be identified and pursued. While we aren’t quite sure what that will look like yet, we are hopeful for the possibilities. To enable these technologies to take off, there remain a number of technical, policy, and regulatory issues that remain to be resolved. ACEEE is working to develop a greater understanding of these challenges and propose solutions.