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Save money on your Air Conditioner energy costs with new App

New York-  new App have emerged that allow people  to control their use of air conditioning remotely.

One New York energy company  is promoting the use of mobile to allow customers to control their units.

According to CNN  Money, New York utility company Con Edison has partnered with ThinkEco to  create “CoolNYC”, an energy monitoring app.

For some time now people have been able  to somewhat control their central air conditioning (or heat) use through digital  thermostats, however this initiative integrates this capability with mobile.  Consumers can use their smartphones to control when they want to monitor when  their window air conditioners turn on and off.

“The idea of CoolNYC is to bring this  technology to everybody so that people can be smart about the way they use their  window air conditioners and save energy by doing so,” said Mei Shibata,  co-founder of New York-based ThinkEco, reported CNN Money.

How it works

Users plug window air conditioners into  a “smart plug”. This plug is designed to control the flow of electricity to the  a/c and has been developed to use wireless technology to connect to the  Internet.

Once set up, users can remotely  determine a temperature for their air conditioners. If the temperature reaches  the designated level, the A/C unit will turn off, and when temperatures rise  about the determined level, it will automatically kick back on to cool the room  again.

Potential benefits

There are a few perceived benefits that  may come from using this app.

For the consumer, there is an ability  to better manage air conditioning costs as the consumer doesn’t need to choose  between letting an A/C unit run all day or leaving it off entirely. Or they can  turn the unit off from a remote location if they’ve accidentally left it on, or  they can turn it on prior to arriving home to cool the residence down ahead of  time.

Consumers can also easily view how much  energy their units are using and adjust accordingly. (Or parents can   perhaps bust their teen throwing a party in their absence as one Australian  father did this past March using an energy app).

Additionally, this could potentially  limit the burden placed on utility companies during heat waves where often  systems are frequently overloaded due to higher  demands on energy during the hot months. Recently, NYC  experiencedbrown-outs, or lowered voltage reductions, during the heat wave.

Raises energy  awareness?

“We’re definitely crossing over into  segments of the population that normally did not care about energy efficiency,  being drawn into it because it’s a cool product,” Shibata said. “It leaves a  permanent impression, to the point where we hear about it from the consumer.  It’s been a great education tool for people.”

Reportedly, about 7,000 NYC residents  have signed up so far for CoolNYC.    This summer the company plans to distribute 10,000 “smart plugs” this summer.  About 75 percent will be given out to residents free of charge and the remaining  kits, which come with one modlet, one USB and one smartAC thermostat, will  be sold at some New York Best Buy stores for about $70; a $25 gift card is  included with the purchase.

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