Texas Tech is collaborating with IBM and the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom on a research project to study the acceptance and impact of residential micro-generation systems, such as solar-powered technologies and micro turbines, on the public’s understanding and adoption of green initiatives and technologies. The project falls under the umbrella of smart energy, which encourages consumers to take energy conservation initiatives by generating their own power and then selling it back the excess to the grid.
IAR Systems announced its Embedded Workbench now supports the MSP430AFE2xx series of metrology devices recently launched by Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI).
New consumer research from British Gas found that more than eight million have not lowered their heating settings since January 2011. The utility also found that only 21 percent of the population is planning to make any energy efficiency improvements, missing out on the opportunity to save up to £322 a year from energy efficiency measures.
Lowe’s is now selling the PowerCost Monitor and its WiFi Gateway plug and play accessory, which enables real-time energy feeds to Microsoft Hohm and Google PowerMeter. The PowerCost Monitor is available in Lowe’s stores located in 24 states, including California, Washington, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York.
Texas Utilities, Electric and Gas Company (TXU) has introduced its Energy Dashboard, a new online tool that helps consumers examine their power consumption to see where they can reduce usage to lower monthly bills. The service is available for free to all TXU Energy customers.
ChinaUnicom’s subsidiary in Anhui province is laying the foundation to reduce the energy consumption of its mobile base transceiver station (BTS) sites by as much as 20 percent. The carrier announced it will deploy Nokia Siemens Networks’ Energy Solutions including cooling box and battery cooling cabinet to replace more costly air conditioning units.
Energy Optimizers Limited’s (EOL) Web-enabled metering device, the plogg, has enabled researchers to evaluate monitoring solutions for individual appliances and electronic devices to improve energy efficiency in the home and across the electricity grid. The plogg is used in research and field trials offering access to accurate and high resolution at the data capture level.
Web-based energy portal Empower Software has announced the launch of an advanced home energy portal for electricity, gas and water. Empower specializes in consumer usability. That expertise is leveraged with existing communication information channels in order to anticipate consumers’ future energy consumption based on their usage today. Empower says it works with the utility’s data and visually presents it to the consumer “in an easy to understand and meaningful way through a client portal or desktop application.” The company also says its application “is the only energy conservation tool to offer communication messaging and up to date energy monitoring across all three utilities.”
The United States government estimates that 40 million United States homes could have smart meters by 2015, ufive times the number currently deployed. But a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) says hardware alone is not enough. Consumers could cut their household electricity use as much as 12 percent and save $35 billion or more over the next 20 years if, and only if, American utilities employ energy-use feedback tools to get consumers more involved in the process of using less energy.
GreenWave Reality has unveiled its new home energy management platform that creates smart energy-efficient homes through the monitoring and controlling of devices. This system benefits both utilities and consumers; utilities enhance their relationship with consumers and can better balance energy on the grid while consumers can conserve energy with a minimal impact to their lifestyle by easily monitoring and controlling their appliances and adding intelligent LED lighting.