Friday, 16 January 2009

Assessing the role of devices in empowering customers to control their energy costs Special

Recently, in an interview with, Petri Trygg, Researcher, Institute of Power Engineering, Tampere University of Technology had spoken about consumers' interest level as far as electricity is concerned.

"In general, consumer´s attitude towards electricity must be quite uninterested one," Trygg, who is scheduled to speak during Intelligent Demand Response for Electricity Summit 2009, to be held in Amsterdam on 28-29 January 2009, had said.

In order to ensure optimal results from a demand response programme, experts advocate that timely information is critical to making demand response decisions.

It is said that consistent information develops habits for consumers that can greatly affect energy use and price responsiveness. Accurate, real-time data allows consumers and energy managers to control their energy consumption more precisely, producing increased energy efficiency and savings.

Plus, feedback helps customers understand the cause-effect link of behaviour and energy consumption, and time between action and consequence or resulting energy use and cost is very important to ensure maximum savings.

Precise communication, be it for informing consumers about their usage patterns or eliciting response from them, has several benefits.

It is believed that faster feedback results in savings upto 10 percent, conveying price information lets customers know when to conserve or shift use, and use and cost displays show alerts for events and results in customer decision result in real-time.

Advancements in communication devices

Over the years, the industry has seen Advanced Metering Infrastructure or AMI ready display devices that allow consumers to closely track their electricity consumption and receive messages or alerts from their utility provider.

There are LCD displays that show messages that are clear and intuitive, making it easy for consumers to manage their energy usage and costs in real-time and wireless communication allows for use anywhere in the home.

According to Comverge, Inc., research has shown consumer energy savings of up to 15 percent can be realised with the use of devices that allows the end user access to real-time energy usage data.

For its part, in October last year, Comverge expanded its AMI compatible product portfolio with the introduction of the PowerPortal Home, in-home display (IHD), that provides customers with current energy usage, energy price information and utility messaging. PowerPortal Home weighs less than 5 ounces, has a battery life of up to 2 months, and is one of the most portable IHD devices available.

As an AMI ready display, PowerPortal Home shows messages that making it easy for consumers to manage their energy usage and costs in real-time. Designed for ZigBee, the PowerPortal Home utilises the smart energy wireless profile, which allows for broad compatibility with many AMI systems and use anywhere in the home. PowerPortal Home has a magnetic backing, an integrated base and a rechargeable battery, so it can be placed on a table, countertop, or even on the front of a refrigerator.

The industry is also witnessing steady advancements in devices, which serve as a wireless communications portal between utility companies and their customers.

For instance, in the first week of January, LS Research shared that it has teamed with Ember to develop Rate$aver. The focus is on homeowners and utilities to collaborate on conserving energy and reducing costs. The emphasis is on offering reliable, wireless communication of consumption data from the utility meter into the home.

Rate$aver is being described as the first battery-powered, wireless graphical display employing the ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile, which supports pricing, security, simple metering and messaging clusters, and is interoperable with other ZigBee Smart Energy certified products including electric smart meters.

Rate$aver runs for up to two years on two AA batteries and uses a unique display technology that allows the display to remain visible even after the radio and the power are turned off. The Rate$aver provides an advanced radio architecture and a 100mW power amplifier that eliminates the need for repeater devices in most homes. Rate$aver also employs Ember's bootloader capability enabling easy implementation of software updates.

Intelligent Demand Response for Electricity Summit 2009

Intelligent Demand Response for Electricity Summit 2009 is scheduled to take place in Amsterdam on 28-29 January 2009.

For more information, click here:


Abbie Badcock ,
Smart Electric News,
T: +44 (0)207 375 7581

No comments: