SDG&E customers can connect home area network devices with smart meters

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers can now purchase and install home area network devices to see how much energy they are using in near real-time and help identify high energy use appliances.

With in-home energy display devices connected to their electric smart meters, SDG&E customers have access to a new tool to help them make smart energy consumption decisions to reduce their overall energy usage and costs.

SDG&E has tested several new in-home energy display devices. By setting up an in-home display, SDG&E customers are able to instantly see how much energy their whole home is using.

They can also determine about how much energy various appliances in their home are using, such as that new energy-efficient TV or outdoor patio light, while watching the kilowatts and estimated cost per hour go up or down on a small digital display as the appliances are turned on or off.

The third-party in-home displays below range in price from approximately $60 to $120, and have been tested and validated for smart meter compatibility.  These devices operate on the standardized ZigBee network communication protocol for seamless integration with SDG&E smart meters. The devices display estimated energy costs that are intended to provide a general idea of approximate energy costs to help customers take action, but do not reflect actual SDG&E billing.

SDG&E has developed a simple process by which customers may purchase a validated in-home display device in the retail market and pair that device with the utility smart meter.

New home area network technology was recently pilot-tested with about 1,300 SDG&E customers and 2,500 devices. The devices have demonstrated effectiveness in increasing energy efficiency among customers who report they are turning off more lights, increasing air conditioning temperature, watching less TV and unplugging devices.

Additional home area network devices are being tested by SDG&E to ensure the device is compatible with the meter and secure on the utility's network. Once validated for compatibility, the list of devices available to customers will be expanded.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day.

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