MyHydro energy tracker helps builders lead customers to savings

Customer using MyHydro consumption tools

For home builders, there's a challenge in building and marketing an energy-efficient home.

It's this: once that home is built, insulated, sealed, and fitted with energy-efficient lights and appliances — you turn it over to the buyer. And from there, energy savings are out of your hands.

"You can set your buyer up for energy efficiency, and get the home EnerGuide rated — but a customer who constantly leaves all the lights on can eat up all those potential gains," says Doug Overholt, representative for the Power Smart New Home Program.

With the advent of smart meters, however, things have changed.

Now, homeowners can create a MyHydro profile, and access information about their energy consumption broken down by the hour. That allows them to see patterns in their electricity usage, and better understand what activities (for example, evenings with lights on, video entertainment and computer use) may be affecting their costs.

MyHydro also allows account holders to compare their usage to other homes nearby, to compare their usage to outdoor temperature patterns (relevant for those with electric heat), and, over time, to see their consumption level compared to previous years.

"There's so much information available now to a homeowner about their electricity consumption," says Overholt. "The MyHydro tools are something a builder can recommend to their customers, especially if they complain that their home is not living up to their expectations in terms of being energy efficient." Overholt points out that satisfied customers, and therefore, word of mouth advertising, are more important than ever. So making sure customers know how to achieve the energy savings their home promises is key.

Tools and information for homebuyers