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SDG&E Customers Can Connect Home Area Network Devices With Smart Meters

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers can now purchase and install home area network devices to see how much energy they are using in near real-time and help identify high energy use appliances. With in-home energy display devices connected to their electric smart meters, SDG&E customers have access to a new tool to help them make smart energy consumption decisions to reduce their overall energy usage and costs.

SDG&E has tested several new in-home energy display devices and customers can learn how to connect these validated devices to their electric smart meters at sdge.com/han. By setting up an in-home display, SDG&E customers are able to instantly see how much energy their whole home is using. They can also determine approximately how much energy various appliances in their home are using, such as that new energy-efficient TV or outdoor patio light, while watching the kilowatts and estimated cost per hour go up or down on a small digital display as the appliances are turned on or off.

"Now that this technology is enabled through SDG&E's smart meter system, customers can see how much energy they are using in their home in near real-time, which gives them greater control of their energy use on a daily basis," said Ted Reguly, SDG&E's director of customer programs and projects.

The third-party in-home displays below range in price from approximately $60 to $120, and have been tested and validated for smart meter compatibility.  These devices operate on the standardized ZigBee network communication protocol for seamless integration with SDG&E smart meters. The devices display estimated energy costs that are intended to provide a general idea of approximate energy costs to help customers take action, but do not reflect actual SDG&E billing.

  • Energy Aware Technology PowerTab In-Home Display
    • Where to purchase: store.energy-aware.com
    • Features: Shows how much electricity your home is consuming at any given moment on a wireless and rechargeable, easy-to-use, magnetic backed display.
  • Rainforest Automation Energy Display (model EMU)
    • Where to purchase: rainforestautomation.com
    • Features: Real-time energy display with instant access to smart meter energy consumption as it happens; simple two-button interface with tabletop or magnet mount; battery-powered.
  • Rainforest Automation Energy Display (model EMU-2)
    • Where to purchase: rainforestautomation.com
    • Features: Real-time energy display with instant access to smart meter energy consumption as it happens; simple two-button interface with tabletop, magnet, or wall mount; plug-in with battery backup.

SDG&E has developed a simple process by which customers may purchase a validated in-home display device in the retail market and pair that device with the utility smart meter.  Utility customers can start the process to connect an in-home display device to their smart meter by completing the online form at sdge.com/han or by contacting SDG&E's Energy Savings Center at 800-644-6133 or HomeAreaNetwork@semprautilities.com.

New home area network technology was recently pilot-tested with approximately 1,300 SDG&E customers and 2,500 devices. The devices have demonstrated effectiveness in increasing energy efficiency among customers who report they are turning off more lights, increasing air conditioning temperature, watching less TV and unplugging devices.

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