Wednesday, 06 January 2010 16:16
A group of companies (including Direct Energy, Whirlpool, Best Buy, Lennox and OpenPeak) have come together to deliver a one-stop, cost-saving, home energy management solution called the 'Home Energy Manager' (HEM).
The prototype, which runs on a compact, touch-screen device, will be unveiled at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) tomorrow in Las Vegas.
The HEM is intended to work with smart meters and â€œenergy-connected home appliances, such as dishwashers, washers, and dryers", and enables consumers to manage their energy spending by setting pre-determined budget limits and ensuring that appliances operate within specific parameters.
It also alerts users when they are close to reaching their budget threshold for the month and offers recommendations about how to reduce costs for the rest of the billing period.
According to the press release, the HEM prototype could save consumers up to 25 percent per month on their energy bill. However it's not the device itself that saves energy, only the informed consumer that takes a proactive approach to reducing energy consumption by implementing cost saving measures.
No word on how much it will cost yet, but before releasing it to the public, Direct Energy plans to run the Home Energy Manager in consumers' homes in a 12-month pilot later this year.
Until then, we'll have to save energy the old fashioned way by using appliances less frequently or during off peak hours. Better yet, just unplug them when not in use.