HomePlug technology application: Smart Grid / Smart Energy
The Smart Grid is a planned nationwide network that will use 21st century information technology to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably and securely, while allowing increased use of renewable power sources. Smart energy coupled with the advanced smart grid infrastructure enables communication between utility companies and common household devices such as smart thermostats and appliances. Individual homes with home area networks (HANs) will communicate through the electric meter with the Smart Grid, offering management of resources by both utilities and consumers.
In the home, the energy consumer can control plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging, smart energy devices such as smart appliances and programmable communicating thermostats (PCTs) attached to the home area network (HAN). This communications path between homes and utilities enables prepay services, user information and messaging, load control/demand response and HAN device firmware downloads.
Powerline networking has proven to be a reliable communications technology for high bandwidth distribution of entertainment-grade HD video, gaming, internet access and other applications in homes. This same proven technology will allow home area networks to communicate to smart electricity meters and give consumers the ability to monitor and manage their electricity usage as never before.