Control4 displays to monitor energy in smart-grid project

Control4 Energy Systems, one of a growing number of home energy display providers, said on Tuesday it will supply energy monitors in a planned smart-grid project in rural Texas.

The home energy monitor–a five-inch-wide monitor that resembles a car GPS unit–will display electricity usage in real time and provide consumers the ability to program a thermostat, according to Will Holford, the public affairs manager at Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative.

The system works by using Zigbee wireless networking within the home to connect the monitor to the thermostat, which communicates with the utility via a smart meter. Other providers in the project, which the utility hopes to begin work on in the second quarter next year, include smart meter provider eMeter and Silver Spring Networks which provides a networking card for the meter.

Control4, which is perhaps better known for its home media management systems, raised $17.3 million in July to expand into the energy monitoring business.

Control4’s display for managing home energy along with home media.

(Credit: Control4.)

Home energy monitors, or in-home displays, are a key piece of the more advanced smart-grid programs being pursued by utilities. By providing more data and ways to program appliances, utilities hope that consumers will be able to find ways to shave back on consumption.

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