Corporate Responsibility
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ENERGY MANAGEMENT IN 2013

We use innovative technology solutions to empower underserved consumers to make smarter choices about their energy use.

Energy Management in 2013
After installing NetworkFleet's system, the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside, Calif., reported fuel savings of nearly $80,000 within the first six months.

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.

Our focus: 

  • Use technology-enabled solutions to empower underserved populations to better manage their energy consumption and save money.
  • Build awareness of how to promote smarter energy consumption.

Social issues we’re addressing:

  • 20% of U.S. households are low-income (less than $20,000/year). For these households, energy costs as a percentage of income are twice that of more affluent households, 6% vs. 3%. (Sources: 2010 Census data, April 2013.)
  • Diverse populations and seniors are disproportionately represented in low-income households and are thus more vulnerable to the pressures of high energy costs.

Better Home Energy Use

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.

GeSI’s SMARTer2020

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.

Finding New Solutions to our Environmental Challenges

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.

Networkfleet Success Stories

  • The City of Ventura, CA achieved the city's goal of reducing overall fuel use by 10%.
  • Campbell Oil was able to increase its on-time deliveries, improve driver safety, and save significantly on fuel costs.
  • Roto-Rooter franchisee Hoffman Southwest recovered stolen vehicles, increased revenue through saved labor, reduced vehicle emissions, and increased service calls.

Verizon Innovation Program

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.

  • BigBelly Solar delivers a line of trash and recycling receptacles that leverage Verizon connectivity to improve the often inefficient process of waste collection. The smart bins, which use renewable solar energy and machine-to-machine interfaces, reduced operating costs by as much as 80%, enabling the firm to establish the first, wide-spread public space recycling programs in Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
  • ThinkEco worked with Verizon to advance development of its cloud-based smart, AC platform, which uses a combination of connected hardware and machine-to-machine software to manage central air conditioners and dehumidifiers. The platform enables electricity conservation on a massive scale. A rollout of ThinkEco last summer in New York City achieved a 22% reduction in energy usage from air conditioning units.
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