In a move that furthers its commitment to renewable energy and smart energy use, Xcel Energy has teamed up with Google to utilize the tech giant’s Google Assistant-powered voice action software to help customers improve energy efficiency.
“We are excited to partner with Google and other tech leaders,” said Brett Carter, Xcel Energy executive vice president and chief customer and innovation officer, in a statement, “as we create new ways to develop and deploy innovative energy solutions for our customers and leverage our investment in smart meter technology.”
An Xcel spokesperson noted that for now, the collaboration only provides tips. Anyone using a device powered by Google Assistant will be able to ask “Google” for Xcel-specific energy-use advice and information. At one point in the future, with Google Assistant capabilities expanded by products like Google Home Hub, the Xcel spokesperson says customers will be able to access account information, receive notifications, and personalize their energy management strategy.
This builds on previous Xcel offerings, including the voice action-enabled Nest thermostat and energy savings program Nest and Xcel established in 2015. That program, Seasonal Savings, was built to fine-tune temperatures in a customer’s home heating and cooling schedule with the goal of saving energy and money without sacrificing personal preferences.
The Google partnership comes after a few other recently rolled out Xcel initiatives, such as smart thermostat energy efficiency rebates in Texas and Colorado and an electric vehicle savings pilot program launched in Minnesota in August.
Said Carter: “Xcel Energy is always seeking ways to bring value to our customers through new energy options and enhanced service.”