A US company called EnergyHub recently released a product called Mercury, described as a ‘Software Platform to Optimize Wireless Thermostats and Increase Consumer Engagement’. Beyond that it’s difficult to work out. Here’s an edited version of the press release:
Today, EnergyHub™ announced its new Mercury™ smart thermostat service, a software platform designed to reduce residential energy consumption. The cloud-based service, now available to cable and television service providers, home security companies, utilities, and device manufacturers, uses analytics and user interfaces to optimize thermostats and increase energy efficiency.
Coupling wireless thermostats with EnergyHub’s Mercury platform empowers end-users to automate their heating and cooling systems through web and mobile interfaces, helping them save up to 20 percent on their energy bills.
The Mercury platform analyzes the consumer’s comfort preferences and the home’s characteristics to arrive at a customized heating and cooling plan. Over time, the system provides personalized coaching based on the home’s historical performance and provides comparisons to other households to encourage even greater efficiency.
Mercury is delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that can be customized to match any brand so that established home security, cable, and telecommunications service providers can bundle thermostat optimization and remote monitoring and control services with existing subscription offerings. Device manufacturers (such as thermostat and security systems) use the platform to deliver customer interfaces that support next-generation product offerings and create new revenue streams.
Utilities and grid operators use the software’s analytics and back-end management tools to improve the yield of demand response programs while delivering real-time measurement and verification.
Offered either as a turnkey solution or as a supplement to existing consumer-facing programs, the platform integrates easily with AMI and AMR network deployments, without the need for costly back-end investment.
But how does it work? How is it controlled? What needs to be installed? How are the savings made? How exactly is it delivered?
There is a lot of good information in the press release, and I think it might be an interesting product/service to report on, but it really isn’t clear, at least not to me.
My point is that it’s a lost opportunity. EnergyHub is by no means the worst example of a press release I’ve seen - usually I just give up and move on (after wasting some time). If I don’t understand what it does or how it works I can’t really comment on it and it doesn’t go into the blog. (Sometimes I’ll see a bad press release just reproduced word-for-word on other sites because they don’t understand what it means either!)
What surprises me is that so many companies waste the chance to get their message across. It’s particularly true in a market like green IT, where features and benefits really need to be clearly explained to an audience that might not be aware and where lots of new products and services are emerging.
Part of The Green IT Report’s business is to help companies get their message across clearly through white papers, case studies and general editorial support. If press releases are anything to go by then more companies should be knocking on my door!