SDG&E to investigate circuit and appliance level energy usage


John Sowers,
Vice President for
Generation and
Resource Planning,
San Diego, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 22, 2013 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), in collaboration with the Pecan Street Research Institute, is launching a research study to test technology that can measure in-home electricity consumption down to the individual circuit and appliance level.

Approximately 30-50 SDG&E customers from a development in Mission Valley will be selected to participate in the study. This is an SDG&E “smart community” project, where smart grid technology is being integrated including solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, fuel cell generation, battery storage and enhanced energy management tools for residents.

By understanding how customers use electricity at the circuit level, SDG&E hopes to identify ways to help tailor future utility programs related to home area networks, energy efficiency and demand response. Demand response programs signal customers when to reduce usage in order to meet resource demand when the grid is reaching capacity. This new knowledge could also allow SDG&E to recommend specific measures customers can take to both reduce usage and cost.

“This research will take smart grid technology to a new level by providing among the most detailed energy usage data to customers through technology that is not even on the market yet,” said John Sowers, SDG&E vice president for generation and resource planning. “Through the research study, SDG&E will learn how this in depth data can help customers to make smarter energy decisions and save money.”

Pecan Street will provide the volunteer participants with a free website and mobile application that provides real time information on the customer’s electricity use down to the appliance and circuit level as well as information on appliance, rooftop solar panel and home energy performance.  The service is powered by an “energy data router” installed at the customer’s circuit panel.

Pecan Street already operates this technology in nearly a thousand homes, apartments, businesses and public schools throughout Texas and, starting later this summer, in Colorado.

The research, which launches this month, will last for several months, and potentially longer.