Electric Ireland upping its smart home services

19 Jan 2016

Electric Ireland, and Accenture, are looking to get further in on the smart homes buzz with a bunch of connected devices to help customers manage their energy spend.

Internet of things (IoT) in the home is something we’ve been expecting for quite a while but, for whatever reason, it has been a very slow progression from idea to implementation.

There are things like Nest and Hive, cloud-supported thermostats, that have been taken up to a pretty decent degree but, in truth, the worries, so far, overload the promise.

Having your heating hooked up to your smartphone is excellent, for example, but not if your phone can be hacked with consummate ease or, if the service goes down (as internet-based products regularly do), how can you warm up your house? Examples in the US:

Smart homes

However, despite such issues, the pursuit of interconnected homes, offices, cars and people is something that many companies are pressing on with and, presumably, the creases will be ironed out as time passes.

Electric Ireland has just announced that it will team up with Accenture, in a move that will see 600 members of Electric Ireland’s Smarter Living Panel trial things like smart plugs to measure electricity consumption.

The trial will use Accenture Connected Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) to enable remote and automated control of multiple smart devices.

All 600 participants will receive a number of smart plugs and a monitor to measure electricity consumption installed in their homes. In order to remotely monitor and control their electricity usage, participants will also be able to access mobile and web-based applications that will also help to promote energy efficiency and savings.

Monitoring and managing their energy while out of the home will be trialled too, before things like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are rolled out in what has so far been a €1.5m investment by Electric Ireland.

Participants in the trial have received new technology installed in their homes to give them smarter control of their energy consumption.

There’s very little in the way of companies going down this route, with convenience sure to attract customers in swathes. There’s still that nagging worry though.

Yet monitoring smoke alarms from outside of the home does seem like an absolute no-brainer.

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic