Sense, Alliant Energy and Cadmus collaborate on new study

Apr 4th, 2022 15:30 EST

Real-time demand response pilot with 500 customers to begin

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Sense announced today that its home energy monitoring technology will be part of a new program to assess the impacts of real-time energy insights on energy efficiency and demand response for Wisconsin customers. Developed in collaboration with strategic consultancy Cadmus, the program uses the Sense Home Energy Monitor to help customers understand their energy usage in more detail via the Sense mobile app. This technology is currently being used as part of a study in 400 Alliant Energy – Wisconsin households.

The program recently received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW). Alliant Energy will begin to study demand response with a new group of 500 high-use Wisconsin households starting early next month, while continuing its energy efficiency evaluation of the 400 households that enrolled earlier.

The next phase of the pilot will help Alliant Energy assess how communicating with customers in real-time about power grid constraints can produce a demand reduction in addition to saving energy. Customers will be able to use Sense’s innovative technology to respond by shifting their highest home energy uses to off-peak times. This real-time customer response could help Alliant Energy operate its part of the power grid more efficiently and economically.

The pilot will also examine new uses of Sense such as air conditioner fault detection, smart plug integration, and electric vehicle charging behavior.

Innovative home energy technology is keyUnlike other approaches that cannot report real-time data, the Sense home intelligence app  gives customers a live view of what’s on in the home. This helps customers identify appliances and devices that are using too much energy and can be updated or replaced, or their use shifted to different times during demand response events. This real-time, personalized, mobile app-based interaction increases customer engagement.

“Consumers play an important role in reducing energy usage as the grid transitions to renewables to address climate change impacts,” said Sense Vice President of Energy Services Colin Gibbs. “Alliant Energy is providing its customers with the kinds of smart home insights that can lead to significantly better results for energy efficiency while also offering benefits for demand response programs.”

Developing flexible load resources represent the next evolution of energy efficiency programs“We appreciate the Commission’s continued support of our mission to expand the use of innovative technology and deliver energy solutions for our customers,” said Ben Lipari, director of resource development at Alliant Energy. “Our pilot program of Sense’s technology will help our customers understand their energy use better and help them to actively manage it in real time. Fostering this type of engagement is critical to the success of accelerating our transition to renewable energy, as outlined in our Clean Energy Blueprint and sustaining the economic and environmental health of the communities we serve.”

“Programs often target either reducing energy consumption or reducing demand, but in today’s energy world, these two facets of energy consumption are inextricably intertwined – particularly when it comes to devices that could have sizable impacts on both, such as air conditioners,” said Amalia Hicks, Principal at Cadmus.

“The evolution of this program will enable Alliant Energy and its customers to go beyond just energy savings to setting the right timing for energy savings, which supports demand flexibility,” she said.

Past program findings show engagement and energy saving among customersIn earlier studies of the Sense home energy monitoring technology, more than half of the customers in the pilot (56%) changed their daily habits to reduce their energy usage. Some key actions customers took included:

  • turning down water heater temperatures
  • unplugging consumer electronics when not in use
  • adjusting their thermostats (which can affect furnace and AC usage)

Analysis of consumption data on peak days revealed that air conditioners, “always on” loads, refrigerators, and dryers were the highest contributors to peak load.

Through targeted messaging via email and in-app notifications, more than 85% of respondents indicated awareness of Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program. The majority attributed their awareness to participation in the Sense Home Energy Monitor Program.

The benefits of the program have been tested across a diverse sample of customers, including:

  • rural and urban customers
  • high-energy users and average users
  • low- to moderate-income households

Sense has partnered with Alliant Energy since 2017. The Home Energy Monitor Program was developed in collaboration with the PSCW and its evaluation partner Cadmus.

Sense’s vision for the futureThrough intelligent connectivity both within the home and to the grid, Sense technology will be able to discover problems and optimize energy usage even more efficiently than it does today. For instance, EV charging will be automated to occur at times when the carbon intensity of the grid is lowest. Utilities will be able to take advantage of these capabilities in the same way that they do with Automated Demand Response programs today. 

About SenseSense’s mission is to reduce global carbon emissions by making homes smarter and efficient. We empower people to care for their homes and families while contributing to a cleaner, more resilient future. Founded in 2013 by pioneers in speech recognition, Sense uses machine learning technology to provide real-time insights on device behavior, even for those devices that are not “smart.” Customers rely on Sense for a wide range of uses including monitoring their home appliances, determining whether they left appliances running and identifying how to reduce their energy costs. Sense has received investments from two of the world’s largest energy technology companies, Schneider Electric and Landis + Gyr. Sense is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. To make sense of your energy, visit:

About Alliant Energy1Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin energy company, based in Madison, Wis., provides service to 485,000 electric and 200,000 natural gas customers. The company’s mission is to deliver the energy solutions and exceptional service customers and communities count on – safely, efficiently and responsibly. Alliant Energy (NASDAQ: LNT) is a component of the Nasdaq CRD Sustainability Index, Bloomberg’s 2022 Gender-Equality Index, and the S&P 500. For more information, visit and follow Alliant Energy on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Named to Newsweek’s 2022 list of America’s Most Responsible Companies, Alliant Energy has committed to accelerating its transition to renewable energy. The company’s Clean Energy Blueprint outlines the utility’s transition and work toward achieving many goals, including net-zero emissions from the energy it generates.

About CadmusCadmus is a strategic and technical consultancy compelled to help solve the world’s most challenging problems. We assemble outstanding teams of leading experts leveraging transformative technologies to work seamlessly across disciplines to help our clients achieve extraordinary results. From energy, water, and transportation to safety, security, and resilience—together, we are strengthening society and the natural world.

1 Alliant Energy applied for approval from the PSCW to run the Sense® home energy monitor pilot program in June 2017. Subsequently, AE Development Holdco LLC, an affiliate of Alliant Energy, invested in Energy Impact Partners, a group of companies that includes Sense Labs Inc. These investments were made with shareowner dollars and were not included in regulated rates charged for utility service. The pilot program and its results are independently authorized and evaluated each year by the PSCW and its evaluation partner, Cadmus.


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