More proof that smartphones and mobile apps are key ingredients to home connectivity and energy management comes from TXU Energy, a retail energy producer in Texas, which says that since the introduction of an iPhone energy app last year, traffic to TXU Energy’s mobile properties has more than doubled and continues to increase.
The app is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and was released shortly after TXU’s mobile web platform.
The company reports that:
- More than 50,000 customers have downloaded the free app from the App Store.
- Mobile customers using the app and mobile website have used their mobile devices for nearly 800,000 account transactions, including more than 230,000 payments. The optimized mobile website allows customers to pay their bills and review their usage.
- Mobile customers have logged into their accounts nearly 700,000 times.
T-stat Control, Too
The company’s iPhone app connects TXU Energy’s residential customers with some of the most popular features available through txu.com, including paying bills, reviewing usage and comparing previous bills. Customers can also use the app to set their Brighten iThermostat, also available through TXU Energy.
The Intermet-connected Brighten iThermostat includes a thermostat with a color touchscreen display and an online portal or the TXU Energy iPhone app. It allows customers to program their thermostats down to the day and hour. TXU says customers can save up to $360 or more over two years just by using its preprogrammed settings.
The Power of iPals
Some experts I have talked with downplay the significance of smartphone thermostat control. After all, a programmable, connected thermostat should be preprogrammed according to the users’ habits and typical occupancy. But remote smartphone control can allow someone to override those presets if they’re going to arrive home at a different time. And, let’s face it: Smartphones and mobile devices are fun to use, even if it’s to set a thermostat. They’re not just iPhones; they’re iPals. They’re toys. And those who have ’em love using them.
Allowing customers to connect with their home systems and see their energy usage and pay utility bills is a great way to get them involved with their energy and learning how they can save.
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