The power of the connected economy begins at home


The connected economy is changing the way people, businesses and governments interact within and between once separate silos.

Smart devices within these connected ecosystems connect everyday life, from the way we pay to the way we travel. At home, devices talk to each other, thermostats self-regulate, electric vehicles (EVs) charge.

And none of this is possible without energy.

Marc-Andr̩ Forget, co-founder and CEO of Montreal-based dcbel, said the same cutting-edge technologies that make devices smarter in a number of use cases could bring control of solar power and electricity. electricity in the hands of the owners. This technology can power homes profitably and allocatively efficiently, even creating a market for peer-to-peer (P2P) trading of energy Рwatts as currency Рto save and earn money.

Without energy, there is no telecommunications, real mobility or comfort in our home, he said. This energy need grows in a healthcare environment, where monitors, diagnostics, and computers need electricity to keep us going. At home, using data and analysis on solar energy, even energy stored in an electric vehicle battery, can make energy management a smart business.

The company’s dcbel r16 appliance uses a hardware-based, artificial intelligence (AI) -based operating system to, through a single device and point of contact, manage the ebb and flow of energy throughout the home. “Intelligent”. As a result, users can do everything from recharging electric vehicles to storing solar energy for later use when demand warrants it.

Energy on demand

Storing energy in the house and using it according to the needs of each family represents a fundamental change in the electrical industry itself.

Traditionally, we only have access to energy by signing contracts with large companies. Solar technology, Forget said, allows users to generate their electricity without having to sign these contracts and, in effect, regain control – beyond reselling it to utilities or simply turning down the thermostat.

Artificial intelligence and hardware can be combined to take the energy generated by solar panels and decide what to do with it.

“Artificial intelligence learns our way of life inside our home,” he explained. “The AI ​​knows that we have dinner at 5 pm and that the price of electricity at 5 or 6 pm is more expensive. Hey, but I have a family. I have children. I need hot water. I need to cook dinner. I probably need to go to the theater at 8 p.m. I’m going to need my electric vehicles. “

In this context, he said, the dcbel system knows how to take the energy that has been stored in the battery contained in the residence and, at crucial times, extract and use that energy – in fact, reducing the cost. energy for the user.

Eventually, he says, the P2 business can monetize the energy produced in a house, selling it to neighbors (for example, if a family goes on vacation, they can sell their stored and unused energy to someone else. ).

Machine learning, watt per watt

He said machine learning can uncover the habits of individuals and families – when they use EVs, when EVs need to be charged, and if Thursday is a busier time at home than Wednesday. The constant updates of the data feed and analysis also take into account the weather (and therefore the amount of solar energy that can be harnessed).

“Every five minutes, that’s where we [are] will calculate the best solution, ”said Forget. “How are we going to orchestrate your energy from what is going to come from the sun, your wind turbine, your EV? What are we going to put in stock? What are we going to draw on? “

When asked about the cost savings generated by the business model and technologies, Forget said utility rates and locations are all factors, but running home energy systems in this way can pay off. investment of “$ 500 to $ 1500 per year”.

The company recently raised $ 40 million to bring its r16 to market, starting with the first deliveries in California, moving northeast (specifically the New York area) in the fall and into Texas. (hard hit in recent months by power outages) at the start of the next year. A wider deployment will follow. Longer-term product development will target military homes, cottages and condos.

As Forget told PYMNTS: “We are in the midst of a great energy transition, and this transition will affect, and is definitely linked to, the connected economy.”



About the study: A third of consumers who signed up for subscription services in the past year were just there for the free trial. In the 2021 Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, PYMNTS surveys 2,022 U.S. consumers and analyzes more than 200 subscription commerce providers to focus on the key features that turn ‘subscription curious’ into persistent, long-term subscribers. term.

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