Spokane Journal of Business

Avista subsidiary Ecova launches home energy-usage tool

Typically serving corporations, Ecova tests new market

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Ecova Inc., the Spokane-based Avista Corp. subsidiary that provides energy-management services to large corporations with multiple sites, has launched a new feature to enable residential utility customers to monitor their energy consumption.

The new feature is called the Home Energy Plan and provides information to consumers about their households' historic energy usage, comparisons of a household's usage with its neighbors, and energy-efficiency tips, among other data.

Portland-based Ecova spokeswoman Wendy Carhart says the Home Energy Plan service currently is being tested by a Midwestern utility company, which she declines to name.

Carhart says Ecova is marketing the Home Energy Plan to its utility clients, which then would offer it as a free or fee-based service to their residential customers. No other utilities have opted to test the new feature yet, she says.

With its energy-use data accessible online, Home Energy Plan is expected to help residential consumers to be more aware of their energy consumption and to give them the ability to take steps to become more efficient.

The data collected as part of the Home Energy Plan then could be reviewed by a utility technician before performing and during an in-home energy audit.

Says Carhart, "If a utility sends someone out to a customer's home and they have that (energy-use) information already ... they're able to do much more detailed audits that have a better link to the energy use so it can be more actionable for the owner or renter."

Ecova is partnering with St. Louis-based Aclara Technologies LLC to offer the energy usage-analysis feature. Aclara is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based ESCO Technologies Inc., a producer of products and technologies used in the industrial, aerospace, commercial, and utility sectors. Aclara is providing the data analytics component of Ecova's new offering.

  • Chey Scott

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