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Save energy and money: Participate in a UCLA study on electricity use

Electricity demand fluctuates each day, and consumers who want to unplug during peak times to save money and help the environment now have a new tool at their disposal. Chai Energy, a clean technology company and partner of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, is making real-time energy information available to consumers who want to reduce or shift their usage during peak periods when electricity is most expensive.

Chai has developed a free smartphone application that displays your home’s daily electricity consumption and provides you with tips on how to better manage it. This could include knowing when it makes financial sense to replace an old appliance, or simply the cheapest time to use electricity for household tasks such as laundry. Chai has also developed a gateway device that establishes communication between a participant’s smartphone and the smart-meter already installed in his or her house, allowing users to see real-time energy consumption by individual household appliances.

About 10,000 Californians are expected to download the app and participate in UCLA’s pilot study, which is funded by a California Energy Commission grant of more than $2 million.

Find out more about the potential benefits of participating in the study and how to join it if you’re interested. (Note: You must be a customer of Pacific Gas and Electricity, Southern California Edison, or San Diego Gas and Electricity.)

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