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Smart Thermostats: The Killer DER

Originally published 2/8/2017, updated on 8/17/2018.

A “killer app” proves the core value of a larger, more sophisticated technology. Examples range from the entertaining – Space Invaders making Atari the premier gaming console of its time – to the life changing – the Internet proliferating personal computing.

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) have struggled to find their killer app. For more than a decade, DERs have promised to make our electric grid cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable, while also giving customers more control over their energy usage. Most experts ultimately foresee DERs upending traditional grid operations, moving from a central station power model to a network of two-way power flows and responsive demand. To spur this transformation, billions of public dollars have been invested in DERs like distributed solar, batteries and electric vehicles; however, the reality of DERs has not yet matched its promise. More than 98% of households have not invested in any of these solutions. Rooftop solar has penetrated the farthest, but it is still utilized by roughly 1% of households, and the vast majority of those systems are in a handful of states.

But what if the killer app DERs need to reach their full potential is already out there, readily accessible to utilities and their customers?

Download the white paper to learn more.


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