The Smart Energy / Smart Grid Revolution

The Smart Grid uses 21st century information technology to enable efficient delivery of electricity from suppliers to businesses and consumers, reliably and securely, while allowing increased use of renewable power sources. Smart energy management systems, coupled with the advanced smart grid infrastructure, enable two-way digital communication between utility companies and common household devices such as smart thermostats, appliances, utility meters, security systems, electric vehicles and more. Communication can be used to control appliances, save energy, reduce costs and increase reliability and transparency.

Smart Grid deployments have some key requirements:

  • Reliable networking across a diverse range of devices
  • Compatibility and interoperability with established consumer home networking technologies
  • Ubiquitous reach to connect all electricity-using devices throughout the home environment
  • Low cost and low power network interfaces for “embedding” in any device
  • Cross compatibility between wired and wireless Smart Grid applications
  • Robust standards and third party certification mechanisms to ensure universal interoperability amongst connected devices
  • An ability to reach throughout the home using existing wiring, without requiring any new wiring

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Improved monitoring and control gives users the tools to improve their energy efficiency and drives participation in programs such as time-of-day pricing, lowering the cost for users while aiding load-balancing for utilities. It also helps consumers participate in peak demand shut down programs, with price incentives to allow the Smart Grid to automatically cut electricity usage for non-critical devices during spikes in demand. For utilities, automated meter reading capabilities saves labor costs. These features take metering capabilities to a whole new level.

Utility companies and manufacturers are therefore looking to adopt standard communications and networking technologies not only to help consumers and businesses monitor and reduce their energy consumption, but also to ensure a standard, interoperable design roadmap for themselves.

As Smart Grid deployments rely on robust, reliable and interoperable underlying technologies for home networking communications, HomePlug technology offers an important foundation. Learn more about Netricity™ from HomePlug® here.