Cisco vamps up its ‘Connected Grid’ portfolio

30 Jun 2010

Cisco has unleashed new technologies to help consumers and businesses better monitor and manage their energy consumption for cost and carbon savings.

With a study by IDC revealing that customers reduce overall energy use by 4-15pc when they receive real-time feedback on power consumption, Cisco has developed an interface for the home environment called the Cisco Home Energy Management Solution.

Its Home Energy Controller (HEC), which aims to help consumers gain insight into and control their energy use, has been designed as a global solution but will be first available in North America this summer.  

Consumer in control

According to Cisco, the HEC is a countertop display that helps the consumer set policies and schedules for energy use, based on real-time household, historic and individual appliance consumption.  

– Through its LCD touchscreen, the consumer will be able to have control over peripheral devices that communicate with the HEC, such as thermostats, intelligent sockets and smart appliances, like fridges and water heaters.

– The HEC will support associated networking protocols, such as ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Encoder Receiver Technology (ERT).

Speaking today, Paul Fulton, general manager, Cisco Prosumer Business Unit/Cisco Smart Grid, said: “Utilities around the world are moving toward a more modern, efficient and environmentally friendly energy infrastructure. Cisco’s Home Energy Management Solution can be an integral part of that transition by helping utilities empower their customers to make choices about their consumption, understand the trade-offs related to time-of-use pricing, and be in better control of their energy efficiency.

Smarter buildings

Cisco also announced key updates to its Smart Connected Buildings portfolio, such as the new Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager.

– Via this technology, Cisco aspires to transform the way buildings are built, operated and experienced.

– The new solution will allow corporations to connect, monitor, aggregate and manage distributed networks of Cisco Network Building Mediators, integrating building systems within a particular facility via a central enterprise portal. 

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic