TXU Energy rolls out ZigBee-enabled demand response program


Jim Burke,
TXU Energy
Dallas, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 30, 2008 – TXU Energy is launching a two-way demand response program through a partnership that includes power companies Comverge and Digi International. Digi will provide the Ethernet/ZigBee gateway, while Comverge will provide smart thermostats — referred as the TXU Energy iThermostat — using ZigBee enabled home area network (HAN) equipment.

"The iThermostat is great for customers who want to manage their energy usage, save money and lessen the impact on our environment without giving up comfort or convenience," said Jim Burke, CEO of TXU Energy. "The TXU Energy iThermostat helps Texas efficiently manage its energy resources while providing customers greater control over their own energy usage. It is initiatives like these that will have a big impact now and into the future."

The companies said the program is free of charge to the residential customer, with customers themselves installing the equipment.

"This program provides the mechanism to deliver true two-way demand response programs over high-speed Internet connections," said Robert M. Chiste, Comverge Chairman, President and CEO. "Many utilities are beginning to deploy AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) systems which can take years to install. This technology allows them to deploy ZigBee-enabled demand response devices now, which can ultimately integrate with those systems.

"We are seeing numerous applications where ZigBee and other wireless technologies are being used to network devices and utilize the wealth of information they contain," said Joe Dunsmore, CEO, Digi International. "We are pleased to be working closely with Comverge and TXU Energy. Our wireless gateways connect the TXU Energy iThermostat to the Internet, allowing customers to enjoy the cost savings and reduced environmental footprint TXU Energy’s unique demand response program provides."

"ZigBee is widely recognized as an excellent solution for energy companies implementing AMI programs," said Bob Heile, chairman of the ZigBee Alliance. "ZigBee Alliance member companies TXU Energy, Comverge and Digi have an innovative solution using ZigBee and the Internet to give their customers an easy and rapid way to improve energy efficiency and help the environment."