Help Your Customers Track, Manage, and Save on Energy Usage with Alexa’s New Energy Dashboard (Coming Soon)

Ben Grossman Sep 24, 2020
Smart Home Connected Devices News

As the number of devices in homes continues to increase, customers want to find ways to make their homes more efficient and sustainable. Amazon has committed to achieving net zero carbon by 2040 as part of The Climate Pledge, and we are innovating new ways with Alexa to make smart homes more efficient and help everyone have a positive impact on the planet. We are excited to announce the energy dashboard in the Alexa app, coming soon to all US Alexa customers. The energy dashboard helps your customers save energy and gives them a single place to track and manage energy consumed by their compatible Alexa-connected smart home devices, such as lights, plugs, switches, thermostats, TVs, and water heaters. You can soon implement new APIs to proactively report your device’s energy consumption to Alexa, or let Alexa estimate the energy used by your devices. By integrating Alexa’s energy dashboard, you can make your existing and new devices smarter and more appealing to an increasing number of customers who are looking to make their homes more sustainable. Customers can see if your device supports the energy dashboard on your detail page, differentiating your product and building confidence that they can track and save on energy usage. With the energy dashboard, we aim to make it easier to make a positive impact on the planet and we invite you to join us in making a difference together.


Provide Customers Personalized Insights and Recommendations for Your Devices

By integrating with the energy dashboard, your customers can see, in the Alexa app, how long their compatible devices have been on (hours) and the energy they consumed (kWh) by day, week, or month all in one place. Customers can see trends on device usage and Alexa will also provide recommendations on actions that your customers can take to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint. Alexa will suggest Alexa Routines that help your customer save energy – like turning off kitchen lights at midnight. Over the coming months, Alexa can also proactively act on Hunches, such as automatically turning off lights that were left on or turning down the water heater when Alexa has a hunch that the customer is away from home, helping your customers save energy without even thinking about it.


Report Your Device’s Energy Consumption in the Alexa App

In the coming months, you can integrate your devices with the energy dashboard in two ways. You can either report the energy consumed by your devices directly to Alexa, or you can enable Alexa to estimate the energy consumed by your devices by providing the required power metadata (e.g. wattage for lights) for your device. Based on your device type and energy reporting capabilities, you can implement one of the new APIs below.

Report Your Device's Energy Consumption to Alexa
Device makers can proactively report the energy consumed by your devices to Alexa using the new Alexa.DeviceUsage.Meter.API. Alexa will then show the cumulative energy usage data to your customers by day, week, or a month on the energy dashboard. This new API allows you to specify the unit of measure (e.g. WATT_HOUR, BTU), the frequency of reporting energy consumption data (up to once a day), and specify if the energy reported is an estimate or an actual reading tracked by the device. TP-Link, Aquanta, Rheem, and Awair will be among the first to report energy consumption data for smart lights, smart plugs, and water heaters to integrate with energy dashboard in the coming months.

“We are excited to be a launch partner for the energy dashboard and Alexa Hunches, and to bring smart water heaters to Alexa. Aquanta enables customers to heat water when they need it, and save money when they don’t. Soon, when Alexa has a hunch that no one is home, she will automatically turn off an Aquanta-enabled water heater to reduce energy usage and save money.” says Matt Carlson, CEO of Aquanta.

Let Alexa Estimate Your Device’s Energy Consumption for You
For devices such as smart lights and TVs, you can let Alexa estimate your device’s energy consumption and show customers estimated energy consumption in the dashboard. To enable Alexa energy estimates for your devices you can soon use the Alexa.DeviceUsage.Estimation API to report the required power rating metadata such as On & Off wattage to Alexa as part of your device’s discovery response. Alexa will use your state and change reports to determine how long a device has been on and combine this with the power metadata you provide to estimate your device’s energy consumption in the Alexa app. For example, combining On wattage for smart lights with the PowerController, BrightnessController, and ColorTemperature change reports, Alexa will determine the amount of time the light was on and estimate the energy it consumed. Additionally, for smart lights, switches and plugs used to control lights, and TVs that already report state changes for PowerController proactively via ChangeReports, your customers can input the required power metadata directly in the Alexa app and start tracking the estimated energy consumption data. This is particularly useful for switches and plugs that don’t have energy monitoring capabilities and also don’t know the power rating (e.g. wattage) of the device they control. Phillips, Hisense, LIFX, Sengled, and Alea Labs will be using energy estimation for their devices that don't currently support energy tracking.

Enable Energy Estimates for Thermostats With the New HVAC.Components API
For smart thermostats, you can soon use the new Alexa.ThermostatController. HVAC.Components API to send Alexa change reports that include On/Off states and time stamps for each of the heating and cooling elements that your thermostats control. Alexa uses this component level data along with customer inputs, such as approximate square footage of their home, to estimate the energy consumed by the Heating and Cooling system controlled by the thermostat. Resideo’s Honeywell Home Solutions and Emerson will be adopting this new API to integrate with the energy dashboard.


Sign Up to be Notified When the Energy Dashboard is Available

You can sign up here if you want to enable these energy tracking and saving features for your Alexa connected devices and be notified when these capabilities are available.