Let's be real here: There aren't that many people that can boast of excess disposable income right now. So, when I hear about new energy management technology focused on the residential home owner, I despair of much adoption progress being made even though there is a whole lot of new technology coming out in this space AND the smart grid is actually part of the new economic stimulus package (albeit a controversial part as evidenced by this USA Today article from a few days ago) AND this is something that could save people money. If only they had the money to invest in the first place.
In any event, if by some chance your system needs an upgrade, a whole bunch of companies announced products and technologies at the DistribuTECH trade show, a conference focused on applications for energy and utilities companies. I've already reported on several developments out of that show over the past week. This blog focuses on Greenbox Technology, which is interesting for the number of alliances it has struck plus for the fact that its founders are the same guys who created the Flash multimedia technology that is now used widely across the Internet. Aside from its own Web site, here's a recent profile from the San Jose Mercury News.
Greenbox's latest technology integration moves include a deal with Energate, which makes smart thermostats. The Energate Z100, which is a Zigbee-enabled device, now works with Greenbox's core energy management platform. Greenbox, based in San Bruno, Calif., lets home owners track utility usage through home networking technology. Energate, which is in Ottawa, has a background in HVAC products.
Greenbox also has inked a deal with Radio Thermostat Company of America (RTCoA). The latter company's CT80 Thermostat can be integrated into Greenbox using ZigBee, Z-Wave or Wi-Fi communications protocols.
Greenbox is currently participating in a limited trial of its technology with Oklahoma Gas and Electric, for which it has teamed up with Silver Spring Networks. Silver Spring is providing the network infrastructure, while Greenbox has contributed its two-way, interactive energy management software. The pilot receives, displays and analyzing usage information on 15-minute intervals. Homeowners participating in the trial can log into the utility's Web site to track their statistics.