Boy, seems like just yesterday I was talking about smart grid stuff. There’s more news: Tendril Networks, a smart grid start-up, has announced all the goods on its networked in-home energy display, called Tendril Residential Energy Ecosystem (TREE). There are a lot of versions of in-home energy displays out already, but the technology is pretty new so each new version is pretty unique, at least in layout.
Tendril’s in-home display takes the basic system that shows energy use at a given moment and builds upon it, providing information on how much money a home is spending on electricity at a given moment. This speaks much more loudly to the average consumer, since everyone knows what dollars mean. The software works with utilities’ back-office systems and devices that use ZigBee to generate the info. Tendril Insight, the actual display, reads information from advanced meters installed by the utilities to give users their real time updates that can be accessed on the web, and the information can be compared to other similar households so the competition can really get roaring among neighbors.
Saving money on energy is going to get pretty darn easy with systems like that – and it won’t cost too much to access. Tendril expects that by mid-2009, consumers with advanced meters can buy the hardware for somewhere between $30 and $50. How much all the other bells and whistles cost, I’m not sure. And access is admittedly still limited, since users need to update their junky old meters, and it works with ZigBee-enabled appliances, which aren’t yet universal.
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