San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) has entered into a contract for a new 20-megawatt (MW) energy storage facility that will be capable of storing enough electricity to power 28,000 homes for up to four hours, as well as a separate contract for 18.5 MW of energy efficiency projects with the goal of launching measures to help customers’ reduce energy usage in local buildings related to heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting, and other commercial features.
Elgato announced the immediate availability of its new Eve Energy smart outlet on Tuesday with support for Apple’s HomeKit smarthome platform. The outlet tracks energy usage and can be remotely turned on or off through Siri voice commands.
The makers of a new “smart plug” claim it can save companies and organizations millions of dollars each year on electric bills.Boss Controls is a Pittsburgh-based company that produces the plugs. They’re designed to go directly into a wall outlet. But unlike traditional plugs, these gadgets are programmed to turn themselves on and off.CEO Greg Puschnigg said they’re designed to reduce energy usage during times when devices, such as vending machines, copiers, coffee pots and computers, are not being used.
The U.S. Department of Energy is matching a $2.25 million Clean Energy Fund grant from the Washington Department of Commerce to research, develop and demonstrate the technologies needed to create “smart” buildings, campuses and cities to better manage energy usage. Once buildings and devices are smarter — managing energy resources optimally on their own — they can also be more responsive to the needs of the power grid.
For quite some time, pockets of interest have been forming around the linkage between energy and water. The nature of this interest is based on an upward spiral that exists between energy usage and water usage. In the simplest terms, an increase in one results in an increase in the other. We need to find a way to break this cycle.
Recently, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed S.1971, the Nexus of Sustainability of Energy and Water (NEWS) Act, which focuses attention on the water needed to produce fuels, electricity, and other forms of energy; and the energy needed to transport, reclaim, and treat water and wastewater.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has launched a loaner program for home area network (HAN) devices, “in efforts to help customers make smart energy choices and save money.”
The program will allow customers to borrow the display devices for use in their home — at no cost — to help them understand their energy usage.
Domus is the latest addition to the growing number of connected home automation systems, and it promises to have a low bar of entry with a $33 starting price. Using Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, users are able to remotely control certain aspects of their home or office, as well as schedule tasks, monitor energy usage, and more. The system is comprised of the iPlug smart outlet adapter, the Domus app, and the iCon unit for WiFi and IR control.
Smart meters are coming. However, the question remains, how will utility companies ensure that their investment dollars make sense?
The future of smart metering offers substantial financial benefits for both the consumer and utility provider. For the customer, estimated monthly or quarterly bills will be retired in favor of detailed and accurate energy consumption accounts at a daily – or even bi-hourly – rate, affording them greater control over their energy usage in accordance with their needs and lifestyles. For the provider, smart metering will reduce manpower costs as bill queries are reduced and meter readings performed remotely. Two-way communication will mean system faults are detected and often remedied automatically, minimizing wastage and energy theft and reducing overall capital expenditure.
At the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Technology & Standards Forum in Seattle, CEA announced that CEA-2047, CE-Energy Usage Information, has been approved as a new CEA standard. This standard enables consumer electronics devices to communicate how much energy they use to consumers’ computers, mobile devices running smart-energy apps, and third-party energy management services.
The Green Button Initiative–an industry-led effort that provides consumers with easy access to their energy usage data–defines how consumers can access a history of their home’s energy usage from their smart meters. However, the initiative does not tell them how much energy a particular device or appliance uses, and getting that information requires either an external metering device or the device itself to make the measurement.
A new player in the energy saving home automation market has just surpassed its goal on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo. The Wi-fi enabled Parce One smart plug measures and controls the energy usage of your electronic devices. It monitors your daily habits and learns when and how you use energy and even when you’re not at home.