‘Extreme Temps’ helps keep customers ‘sticky’

Alarm.com’s new feature saves energy when it’s very hot or cold and keeps customers more engaged with their security systems
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com this month announced the release of its new “Extreme Temps” feature, the most recent addition to its emPower energy management home automation platform.

The feature can automatically adjust a home’s thermostat on days with especially high or low outdoor temperatures, enabling consumers to operate their heating and cooling systems more efficiently and save money, according to the July 11 announcement by Alarm.com, a provider of interactive security systems based here.

If a number of people in a community use the Extreme Temps service, it also could reduce the overall consumption of energy on extreme temperature days, lessening the likelihood of rolling blackouts and power outages, said Jay Kenny, Alarm.com’s VP of marketing.

The new feature, which Alarm.com authorized dealers will be offering as a free upgrade to customers using emPower and to new subscribers, can help increase RMR by keep customers “sticky,” Kenny told Security Systems News.

He said such the feature, which he believes Alarm.com is the first to offer connected to a security panel, will cause customers to engage more with their system and see more value in it. “And people are willing to pay for what they value,” he added.

Extreme Temps is part of a broader effort by Alarm.com to look beyond the home when it comes to security, Kenny told SSN.

“Most of what goes on today is about protecting the home and monitoring what goes on in the home to keep people secure and aware,” he told SSN. “We’ve started to extend that and look at external conditions…that could potentially impact the home.”

For example, he said, Alarm.com in June announced the launch of its Severe Weather Alerts feature, which tracks severe weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service and provides real-time alerts to customers when there are severe weather alerts near their homes or businesses.

Now, with Extreme Temps, customers can automatically set the target temperature of their thermostats based on the forecasted weather in the area.

On a very hot day, the company said, that will “automatically increase their thermostat setting by 1-9 degrees, enabling customers to save money and reduce their energy consumption on days when their air conditioning system is likely to consume a lot of energy. On cold days, the feature works similarly, with a temperature threshold range from -20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Customers can receive email and text notifications letting them know when Extreme Temps are activated, and can opt out at any time by manually adjusting their thermostat.”

Kenny explained that the feature is targeted at people who are away from home, at work, and don’t want to spend a lot of money on cooling or heating during extreme weather when no one is in the home.

He noted that government and energy companies are talking about creating a smart grid to enable more efficient energy usage by homeowners and other users. Extreme Temps, he said, lets “the individual participate [in using energy efficiently] until that sort of smart grid … becomes a reality.”