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foresee™ Software: A User-Centric Home Energy Management System

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

The residential energy management market is picking up tremendous speed in the current age of smart devices and smart home technologies. A recent report from GTM Research indicates that home energy management technologies will result in $24 billion in sales to market players between 2016 and 2023. Similarly, a wave of digital technologies and connected devices offering two-way communication with the grid is expected to penetrate the market in the near future; Navigant Consulting, Inc., projects that these technologies will equate to $1.3 trillion in new annual industry revenue by 2030. As competition increases, so too will the importance grow for a user-tested home energy management system that can accurately predict and respond to simultaneous inputs from the home, the grid, the weather, the energy market, the homeowner’s preferences, and all systems in between. 


Researchers at NREL—in collaboration with Bonneville Power Administration—have developed foresee™, an effective home energy management system software that schedules and manages the operation of residential electrical systems and appliances to deliver multiple benefits to the homeowner, based on his/her provided preferences and values. Those benefits include reducing energy costs, improving thermal comfort, increasing convenience, reducing impacts that result from the home’s energy use, supporting power grid reliability and resiliency, and more. The software’s advantage lies in its tested ability to predictively integrate grid services from utility signals and user preference adaptations to efficiently operate home appliances, photovoltaic systems, and battery storage. Recent results indicate foresee can provide homeowners between 5% and 12% whole-home energy savings while delivering an optimum balance of comfort, convenience, and grid benefits.

The model-predictive control core of foresee works by taking objective inputs from five different information components: weather forecasting services, utility grid interfaces and associated demand-response programs, comfort and convenience preferences from users, system identification data of household devices and sensors (HVAC, water heater, dishwasher, etc.), and energy load data statistically derived from variable user patterns. foresee then uses optimization to calculate control decisions for the home’s individual appliances and energy storage systems, resulting in whole-home energy cost savings around the clock. foresee can also be integrated with cybersecurity functionalities that maintain the privacy of the homeowner’s data and protect all parties against the threat of hackers. The foresee software is compatible with nearly any smart-home products and services currently available in the market.

  • “Win-Win” solution for utilities, homeowners, and aggregators
  • Simplicity for homeowners
  • Enabling smart homes to deliver valued outcomes not previously available
  • Interoperable across nearly any Internet of Things product commercially available today
  • Whole-home energy cost savings
  • Flexibility added to grid utilization
  • Facilitation of solar generation penetration into residential sectors
  • Built-in cybersecurity protection
Applications and Industries
  • Home Energy Management Systems
  • Small business power management
  • Demand-response programs
  • Power, water, and thermal controls
  • Photovoltaics and home battery systems
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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To: Jean Schulte<>