We use innovative technology solutions to empower underserved consumers to make smarter choices about their energy use.
Technology is changing our approach to creating a sustainable society. Some changes are obvious, such as digital media replacing books and video conferencing reducing the need for business travel. But the real transformation is just emerging as mobile and Internet technologies—like cloud storage, machine-to-machine telematics, and wireless—are incorporated into the energy grid.
The changeover stands to be revolutionary, as our energy grids are converted from a one-way system into a dynamic information processing ecosystem with the potential to double the nation’s energy efficiency over the next 30 years.
Social issues we’re addressing:
We’ve teamed up with Pecan Street Inc., a Texas-based smart grid/consumer energy research group, to launch a home energy trial that will empower consumers to make smarter choices about their energy use.
The research trial—the Smart Solutions for Affordable Housing Program—involves 140 households in Austin, Tex. Participants have been outfitted with a complete energy monitoring system, including smart thermostats, 4G LTE routers, tablets and a mobile app that provides real-time energy use data.
The research portion of the project will examine the drivers of energy use in apartments and the effectiveness of real-time feedback of energy data. It will also examine the impact of remotely controlled smart thermostats on participants’ energy use. Initial results on the participants’ energy usage are expected in mid-2014.
Verizon holds a seat on the board of directors for the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a leading source of information, resources, and best practices for achieving sustainability through information and communications technology (ICT).
ICT provides a solution to one of the fundamental challenges of this century: reducing emissions while maintaining economic growth and improving quality of life. The GeSI’s SMARTer2020 Report illustrates how increased use of ICT may reduce projected 2020 global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 16.5%—amounting to $1.9 trillion in gross energy and fuel savings and a reduction of 9.1 gigatonnes in carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) of greenhouse gases.
In 2013, GeSI partnered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to add a new pillar to the UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change program focusing on the role that ICT solutions play in addressing climate change.
GeSI is making a $1 million, three-year investment focused on mitigating climate change via ICT initiatives. The program will recognize ICT initiatives around the world that help promote energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction.
A research we commissioned with Accenture could provide the inspiration to jump-start a new discussion on how broadband and mobile technologies can solve environmental challenges and lead the way to a less carbon-intensive society.
The research centers on the premise that the mobile and broadband services we provide our customers enable them to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. This premise was a key point in the GeSI’s SMARTer2020 report (see above), which outlined how information communications technology can reduce CO2 emissions through smart grid, smart building, smart transportation and travel substitution services.
We asked Accenture to quantify the CO2 reduction value that our solutions enabled our customers to achieve in 2013 by applying the GeSI SMARTer2020 approach. The chart below shows the results in comparison to the U.S. carbon footprint.
We consider this a conservative estimate. Our hypothesis is that our services enable a significantly higher level of CO2 reduction. We are encouraged by the results of this initial assessment and we intend to refine our data gathering process and improve our reporting in the future.
As a practical example of how our services are reducing CO2 emissions and solving environmental challenges, our telematics product—Networkfleet—has proven to significantly improve operating efficiency for fleet operations (see examples below.)
Information gathered from vehicles via Networkfleet includes idle time, speeds, stops and starts, stop count and duration, fuel usage, carbon emissions, and fault codes. The data is then transmitted wirelessly to desktops, notebooks, or smartphones.
Armed with such data, fleet managers can streamline routing, promote fuel-efficient—and safe—driving practices, improve vehicle maintenance, avoid breakdowns and track metrics.
The Verizon Innovation Program—based at our Innovation Centers in Boston and San Francisco—serves as an incubator for new, non-traditional connected solutions that leverage our 4G LTE network.
The roster of companies participating in the program continued to grow, with 67 products now commercially available in the marketplace. Several of the participating firms have commercialized products that directly align with Verizon’s larger mission to positively impact the environment.