Westar Energy has signed an agreement with PEQ, an Internet of Things provider, to develop Westar Home, which will provide customers a tool to manage energy and the convenience of managing smart devices such as lights, thermostats, locks and more, in their home through a single interface.
“Customers often look to electric utilities for support around managing energy use,” said Mark Cosby, business development manager, Westar Energy. “Our partnership with PEQ will allow us to heed that call and offer additional value of home automation to our customers. Home automation technology is ripe for wide adoption among homeowners, and it is a natural extension of utility service.”
Westar and PEQ tested the concept of smart home offerings and learned that consumers were aware and interested in the technology. The familiarity with their local utility brought strong brand recognition and it was viewed as a logical fit as it enables them to manage their home energy use.
Westar Home provides an online hub for smart devices that allows customers to control lights, locks, temperature and more from their smart phone or other connected device. The system works with a variety of popular smart home brands. A closed pilot of Westar Home is under way with an expected program launch in spring 2016.