Friday, October 31, 2008

WiFi Thermostats Eliminate Need For Smart Grid

The "Information Superhighway" will connect all types of devices and deliver ALL types of data.

Energy efficiency through telematics is here.

Toronto-based Ecobee thinks it has a winning plan for reducing everyone's cost of heating and air conditioning, while giving utilities greater interaction with customers when needed

From ARS Technica WiFi thermostats set to change energy industry
The Ecobee connects to a thermostat through a standard HVAC interface, and hooks in to the Internet via a home WiFi network.

The thermostat regularly synchronizes its data with a secure Web portal.

Once networked, the thermostat can receive alerts, too, from whoever installed the device.

Previous smart thermostats required a smart grid, an electrical network also capable of passing data. Ecobee goes out of band, using the ubiquity of WiFi to pass data. The system can tie into home meters that track usage.

The kicker:

Because utilities pay for more power during peak periods—whether they generate that power themselves or buy it on the open market—being able to send an alert to a customer asking them to participate in backing off usage could have a disproportionate effect.

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