Connecting Communities for Sustainable Solutions

August 16, 2023 by Scott Schuetter

The City of Madison, Madison Gas and Electric, and Slipstream are working with the Department of Energy to demonstrate high-performing HVAC, lighting controls, and electric vehicle charging. As part of this project, small adjustments to the thermostats, light levels, and electric vehicle charging in your building may be made periodically. This project is part of a nationwide research study to demonstrate the feasibility of making buildings' use of electricity flexibility to maximize our use of clean energy sources and minimize costs (this is called load flexibility). To learn more about the study, you can visit our page on the Connecting Communities website.

An infographic with parts of a smart building

What will I be asked to do?

We are asking you to take an anonymous survey with questions about your workplace before and after the new technology and controls are implemented. Results will be compared for the entire building to assess the overall satisfaction for each survey period. The entire survey should take 10 minutes to complete.

What are the risks of this study?

The risks are no more than those involved in daily activities such as using a laptop for web browsing.

We do not anticipate any significant risks from participating in this study.

Will responding to this survey help me in any way?

You are not likely to personally benefit from taking this survey. But it may help people in the future. What we learn may help in the following ways:

  • Impacts on comfort and working conditions on occupants in buildings with load flexibility
  • Improve energy savings for buildings
  • Reduced carbon emissions resulting from the electrical grid
  • Improve implementation of grid-flexible technologies.

Will I be paid?

No. You will not be paid for being in this study.

Who will see this information? How will you keep it private?

Researchers from Slipstream will collect and analyze data.

Anonymous survey responses will be stored electronically on Slipstream computers.

If we share the study's results in scientific journals, professional publications, or educational presentations, we will not include your name or anything else that could identify you.

We may be required to share your information with the study's sponsor. But the sponsor will not see your name or any identifying information.

This research has been reviewed and approved by the Central Department of Energy Institutional Review Board (CDOEIRB), an administrative group of people who oversee the rights and welfare of human-research subjects participating in research activities conducted under the auspices of U.S. Department of Energy.

Will my information be used for anything else, including future research?

No. Your information will be used only in this study.

Taking part is voluntary

Your participation in this study is voluntary. You do not have to be in this study if you don’t want to be. You have the right to change your mind and leave the survey anytime. You may skip any question you do not wish to answer.

Questions about the study

If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about the research study or for any other reason, you may contact the CDOEIRB at 865.574.4359 or at

You also may ask questions about your rights as a research subject, request to obtain information, or offer input.

If you want to know more about the program, visit the Department of Energy Human Subjects Protection Program website.

For more information on research study participation, read the DOE's brochure, Should I Participate in a Research Study?  

Project Partners

City of Madison, WI MGEWe Energies RMI WPPI Energy