Following the Government’s recent Energy White Paper and its plans for energy supplier carbon reduction targets, plus growing concern for the environment, the new Home Energy Controller (HEC) from Smart metering specialist PRI is its premium entry product into this rapidly developing market.
The device is being trialled as part of a jointly Government-funded (BERR, DEFRA) Energy Demand Reduction Project, with EDF Energy and other partners - ahead of the Government’s aim to rollout Smart metering to all UK households over the next ten years.
For anyone wanting to connect the main sources of energy use in the home with the means to understand its use and cost, the HEC provides the solution.
Featuring a clear, easy-to-use colour touch screen graphical user interface, the unit gives the customer all the details they need of gas and electricity consumption, tariffs, payment options etc.
As an advanced hot water and heating controller, when integrated into the home heating system (including room thermostats etc) the device provides direct correlation/control of central heating energy cost - a major energy demand in the home.
PRI’s sales director Richard St Clair comments:
‘Set and forget’ is the term often used to describe the simplicity and reliability of various heating controls and programmers. However, with the Government’s plans for energy supplier carbon reduction targets, and with increasing awareness of the environment, the ‘forget’ will increasingly become a message of the past.
“People now are far more energy-conscious. This welcome mindset will help reduce energy demand and thus carbon emissions. With the development of Smart metering, there’s a real need for a new approach to domestic heating and home energy control - HEC is a significant development in this process.”
The HEC system comprises a Customer Interface Panel (CIP in-home display), communication hub and Smart-enabled electricity/gas meters.
The hub is connected to the electricity meter via a RS232 port where it derives its power. The unit features a GSM engine for communication to the energy supplier and ZigBee unit for interaction with other domestic radio-enabled devices eg thermostats, lighting, security products.
The CIP is ‘the co-ordinator’ of the Smart-enabled electricity/gas meters, room thermostat and heating control box devices in the ZigBee network.
About Smart meters
A Smart meter communicates with the customer and supplier in real-time, providing detailed information concerning energy consumption. The consumer is in control rather than the supplier.
It could soon mean goodbye to often-inaccurate estimated bills and those long hours waiting at home for a meter reader to call. At last, consumers will have accurate bills and greater control of their energy usage.
In the home, energy use is now a big issue – particularly escalating costs and its contribution to green house gas emissions. We all need to cook, heat and light our homes, but often we do this without the day-to-day consideration we make when spending on other household demands.
Each quarter, the electricity and gas bills land on the mat - and we can just pay it, or the monthly invisible direct debit deals with it… we hope!
Smart gas and electricity meters, like those from PRI, have the ability to change this. They can revolutionise our knowledge and ability to save energy - and money - and reduce our carbon footprint by putting us in control.
A user-friendly display in our home can tell us day-by-day - even minute-by-minute - our energy use, cost and the carbon we are producing.
The display replaces the central heating controller and the information it produces also can be replicated on the TV or home PC.
New tariffs linked to carbon with a range of different prices will bring choice and opportunity as to how and when we use energy. The ability to ‘pay as you go’ or ‘as and when’, presents a new evolving relationship between consumers and energy suppliers.
PRI provides ‘intelligent’ products, systems and services for energy and utility revenue management world-wide.
As the intelligent metering specialist, the company is market leader in the development, production and supply of intelligent electronic meters and software.
Providing utility companies, industry and commerce with electricity meters and related products/services for energy monitoring and management, PRI was the first company to use microprocessors for accurate measurement of fundamental electrical parameters - leading to the unique CALMU™ technology.
This technology has been honed to meet changing market demands and offers a range of accurate, cost-efficient equipment tailored to customer requirements.
The company’s electricity meters are fully approved by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) for use in billing and Code of Practice applications.
PRI’s newest range of in-home devices offers consumers greater energy efficiency, sustainability and cost reduction. The company is based in Winchester, Hampshire.