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New 'Smart Panels' Give Homeowners Real-Time Control of Their Energy Use

Lumin graphic

Posted July 25, 2023

Below is a snippet from a WSJ article that quoted PLMA member company, Lumin.

...For homes already equipped with solar and a backup battery that stores power to use in the event of a grid outage, smart panels can also obviate the need for additional batteries—a huge cost savings since backup batteries range in price from $7,000 to $14,000. Lumin’s dashboard, for example, includes a feature known as “dynamic whole-house backup.”

Basically, it works like this: Since Lumin’s smart panel knows how much power every appliance in the house needs to operate, a homeowner can access the app and switch appliances on and off to match the power state of the existing battery, thereby preserving battery life while keeping critical appliances running, says Alex Bazhinov, president and chief operating officer of Lumin, a seven-year-old Charlottesville, Va., company.

Another benefit: Because of smart panels’ grid interactivity, installing one can also eliminate the need of a homeowner for an expensive service upgrade from their utility. Most American homes operate on a 100-amp system, but increasingly, says the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Dyson, consumers are adding appliances and features—hot tubs, heat pumps, EVs—that require a 200-amp service.

CLICK HERE to read the full article.


ILLUME Advising Job Opportunity: Clean Energy Program Evaluator/Senior EvaluatorILLUME

Posted July 25, 2023

Job Summary
Pair your expertise in program evaluation, social science, and energy/utility industry experience to lead ILLUME’s evaluation and research studies. The energy industry is rapidly transitioning, increasing the importance and value of program evaluations within the industry. ILLUME seeks an individual who brings deep understanding of research methods, client and team-centered focus, keen attention to detail, and is excited by the intricacies and challenges of all aspects of managing and leading projects end-to-end. ILLUME is a fast-paced environment known for its exciting cutting-edge projects and deeply supportive team. In this role, it will be important to be able to juggle multiple priorities to deliver exceptional work to our clients.


Help clients understand their path and progress toward a clean energy future. Support clients in meeting their energy, decarbonization, and customer engagement goals. Apply evaluation expertise to confidently navigate the technical, policy, program design, and customer considerations and to thoughtfully identify opportunities for clients to enhance program designs and impacts.

Use and create frameworks for measuring success. In addition to leveraging existing evaluation guidance and protocols, help our team and clients expand on best practices to assess emerging interventions.

Demonstrate exceptional end-to-end project management and leadership. Lead and own planning, budget management, reporting and successful delivery of projects, including team and client guidance and communications.

Mentor project team members to grow the knowledge and expertise of the ILLUME team. Provide in-project training and clear feedback to ensure professional development for our multidisciplinary project teams. Specifically, this role will help to train analysts and consultants around best practices and methods in evaluation.

CLICK HERE to read the full job description to apply.


ILLUME Advising Job Opportunity: Consultant/Senior Consultant - Building ScienceILLUME

Posted July 25, 2023

Job Summary
If you have a background in engineering or building science and an interest in joining a passionate and collaborative team working for a clean energy future, our Building Science Consultant position might be the role for you.

The Building Consultant will:

Help us expand the impact the built environment can create in an equitable clean energy future. The Building Science Consultant will help research and assess emerging and existing building appliances, technologies, systems, and designs to help our clients identify opportunities for their customers to save energy, and improve comfort, health, and safety.

Help grow our work in building system R&D, electrification and decarbonization. The Building Science Consultant will help ILLUME expand our ability to help our clients track and follow trends in building science and technology, set up emerging technology pipelines and to design and evaluate field and full-scale pilots of emerging technologies.

Bring their curiosity and love of problem-solving to their work every day. The Building Science Consultant will turn data and analysis into insight, analyzing why things happened and how changes to installation and application might affect outcomes. You’ll describe building science or engineering concepts in writing and presentation formats to a wide audience and ultimately use data to inform critical client decisions.

Be successful working across multiple projects. The Consultant will be responsible for supporting engineering or building science projects and/or tasks, including data collection and analysis for projects including impact evaluations of pilots and programs and projects designed to support electrification strategy and development, including pipeline to portfolio transfer for emerging technologies. The Consultant may also support conducting technical interviews with equipment contractors, building professionals, and utility staff; designing evaluation plans and approaches; analyzing data and reporting on findings with clarity and coherence.

CLICK HERE to read the full job description and to apply.


ILLUME Advising Job Opportunity: Senior Data ScientistILLUME

Posted July 25, 2023

Job Summary
We are looking for a senior data scientist for a role that will blend hands-on data wrangling and modeling with team building, improving internal systems, and identifying opportunities and direction for our data science work. If you love data and want to turn data into actionable insights for our energy systems, this might be the role for you.

The Senior Data Scientist will:

Be a data and modeling translator: The Senior Data Scientist will turn data into insight, analyzing why things happened and predicting what could happen in alternative scenarios. You’ll describe complex data and modeling concepts in writing and presentation formats to a wide audience and ultimately use data to inform critical client decisions.

Build a lasting infrastructure: The Senior Data Scientist will lead our team in making our code more efficient, solidifying code modules, implementing version control, and using consistent approaches to coding.

Coach and train our team: We have a growing team of beginning to intermediate data scientists. The Senior Data Scientist will help our team level-up their coding and analysis skills.

Immerse themselves in data problems: Sometimes the Senior Data Scientist will dive in and do the work, especially for complex new projects and methodologies.

Learn and learn some more: If you are not familiar with the energy industry, you will learn about the critical questions, methods, and approaches that are commonly used. But we do not want to stop there. Executive leadership will be looking to you to extend your and our knowledge of new approaches to bring to our thorniest problems.

CLICK HERE to read the full job description and to apply.


ecobee Offers California Residents the Opportunity to Save on Rising Energy Costs


Customers who enroll in the Cali ecosave program can purchase an ecobee smart thermostat starting at $10 to support a more reliable electrical grid

Posted July 20, 2023

TORONTO – July 19, 2023 – ecobee, a subsidiary of Generac Power Systems (NYSE: GNRC), today announced it is offering eligible customers in California’s hottest climate zones a $10 ecobee3 lite (regularly $149.99) or a $149.99 ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium (regularly $249.99) when they enroll in the company’s Cali ecosave program. Three thousand discounted thermostats are available, while supplies last.

Cali ecosave is a voluntary community energy savings program from ecobee that offers customers an incentive in return for helping to save energy during periods of high demand and helps support a more stable and reliable power grid in local communities.

“At ecobee, we are committed to offering innovative smart home solutions that address the current problems customers are facing, such as rising energy bills and increasing strain on the power grid caused by extreme heat,” said Chris Carradine, EVP of Energy at ecobee. “We’re eager to offer heavily discounted ecobee smart thermostats to eligible Californians to help them conserve energy and save money on their summer cooling bills without sacrificing comfort.”

Extreme weather can lead to grid instability and the risk of outages or brownouts in local communities, along with higher energy bills. According to the California Independent System Operator's outlook for summer 2023, the “grid remains vulnerable to high loads and availability of imports during widespread heat events, especially in late summer.” California residents currently spend about $220 per month on electricity, which adds up to $2,640 per year – 25% higher than the national average electric bill.

As part of California’s move towards cleaner energy, utilities in the state have transitioned customers to time of use rates, which make electricity prices more expensive during peak hours of the day, and lower at non-peak times. ecobee smart thermostats take into account energy prices, local weather, home energy performance, and custom comfort preferences to automatically cool homes when energy is less expensive and avoid cooling when energy is more expensive, all without impacting comfort. Customers who take advantage of this offer will be pre-enrolled in Cali ecosave helping them save money on their energy bills and also helping reduce stress on the power grid during peak times.

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.

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