October 4, 2011 - While there still is an ongoing debate on how consumers will eventually link into the Smart Grid, Asema is already shipping out their smart energy saver, the Asema E. “We are empowering consumers to enjoy the benefits of the Smart Grid now as its being rolled out to show them in practice the value of this technology”, says Jani Hursti, CEO of Asema Electronics. “Consumers will learn how much electricity they are really using, and how they can use less of it without sacrificing comfort.”
That is the idea behind the Asema E, a new electricity saver which automates the home, helps consumers to use less electricity, and teaches when is the best time to use electricity. It is a handy touch-screen device that monitors and controls power consumption through wireless controllers. These wireless controllers can be connected to all lights and appliances, including the most electricity-hungry ones such as tumble dryers, water heaters and underfloor heating systems. The system can easily be installed in new or old homes, from apartment buildings to single-family houses.
Educating the consumer
By connecting all appliances and lights, the Asema E gives consumers unprecedented insight in their electricity usage. “Currently consumers only see their total use once a month in the bill”, says Hursti, “With the Asema E, they will see how much each appliance is using and in real time.” With this new information, consumers can make better informed decisions on their electricity usage, and on other energy saving practices, such as insulation and CFL light bulbs. Easy savings can be made by preventing unnecessary use of electricity. “Which family doesn't have kids that leave the lights on upstairs?”, Hursti asks.”The Asema E will tell if the lights are on, and you can switch them off
with one tap on the screen or automatically.” Another unnecessary drain of electricity is the standby mode of many home appliances, which can be switched off completely with the Asema controllers.
Remote control of the home
Asema E also works with any web browser, and can be controlled through a smart phone, desktop or laptop. If you are tired of worrying whether you left your coffee machine on in the morning when you went to work, simply log on to your device via the web and stop worrying,” says Hursti.
Shifting demand to off-peak hours
One of the key objectives of the Smart Grid is Demand Response. “But who is really working in practice with the consumer to teach to which times they should shift their consumption?”, asks Hursti. “That's where we come in.” Asema works in close cooperation with the Nordic energy market Nordpool and each Asema E fetches daily accurate price information of market rate electricity 24 hours in advance. Users can assign price levels to appliances, so that they will not function if the price of electricity is too high. This market insight and automation from the Asema E will help consumers to shift part of their demand to off-peak hours. With direct integration to the smart meter at home and new communication channels to the consumer, the Asema E offers totally new ways for utilities to innovate and tailor their offering.
Greener and cheaper
With the new information on their electricity usage, consumers can learn new ways to save energy and optimize their usage. With the insight in the dynamic pricing and by seeing the monetary benefit of off-peak hour electricity, consumers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and their energy bill. “In a way we are making lives greener and cheaper,” Hursti says,” and isn't that what everybody wants?”