Honeywell and Opower announce plans to jointly develop energy management tools to help consumers cut their energy use and expenses.

The companies will combine Honeywell's expertise in residential automation and control systems with Opower's industry-leading energy-data analytics and customer-engagement techniques to create intuitive, reliable and cost-effective technology that will provide energy savings in the home and across the entire electrical grid.

Initially, Honeywell and Opower will launch a platform that includes a Web-connected programmable thermostat to help utilities boost energy-efficiency programs, driving deeper savings in the home and maximizing return on investment. The technology will measure, analyze and report homeowners' electricity use, including detailed information from the thermostat, which controls heating and cooling systems — equipment that accounts for almost 50% of all residential energy consumption.

Utility customers will be able to access the data from a Web portal or mobile application to get a clear and comprehensive snapshot of their energy use and spending.

The technology will also suggest and automatically implement cost-saving changes and will present equivalent data from similar families in the same geography to provide a benchmark and additional context.

The companies plan to pilot the new product with select utility partners over the next few months. Eventually, the platform may support utilities' efficiency programs for light commercial customers, as well as demand-response programs, which help temporarily reduce electricity consumption when energy use spikes and strains the grid.

Honeywell also plans to sell similar products through residential contractors and retailers.

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