Vancouver, BC – November 5, 2012 – Rainforest Automation, a developer of residential energy management products, in partnership with Southern California Edison, is making their popular EMU™ Energy Monitoring Unit product available directly to consumers at six Best Buy outlets in southern California.
In the wake of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) directive last month requiring the state's investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to begin making the smart meters' Home Area Network (HAN) capability available to customers, this is the first opportunity for the general public to get devices that can directly read their smart meters.
The EMU™ has proven itself in Texas, whose deregulated energy market has allowed retail availability of HAN devices for more than a year. Now, after a number of trials in California, the EMU™ is coming to that state, starting with areas served by SCE. As the other IOUs ramp up their HAN programs, devices will be available in their service areas as well.
How it Works
The EMU™ uses ZigBee wireless to connect directly to the smart meter and obtain the usage information. This works like a WiFi connection on a computer, but at much lower power, and with high security encryption.
In order to talk to the meter, the EMU™ must first be registered with the utility. Once this is done, the utility will enable the meter to communicate with that particular device. And then, only that registered device can talk to that meter.
To start up the EMU™, just insert the batteries, and it will automatically connect wirelessly to the meter. There are simple up/down buttons to scroll through the screens. The EMU™ allows a consumer to see how much power his household is using at any moment, as well as how much was used over a period of time. This real time feedback makes energy conservation much more effective, as the user can see how much he is saving as it happens, instead of waiting until the end of the month.
How to Get it
The EMU™ is available at select Best Buy stores in southern California. It is also available from the Rainforest Automation online store (https://rainforestautomation.com/store_usa/), at the retail price of $59.99.
Eligible SCE customers can also claim a $50 reward card just for registering and activating their device before the end of the year.
About Rainforest Automation
Rainforest Automation, Inc. makes products that allow utilities and homeowners to manage residential energy usage. Our primary product focus is on the ZigBee wireless HAN (Home Area Network), and connecting the smart meter data stream to the home and the cloud. Our open, standards-based devices enable “plug and play” access to the smart meter data stream – not only for utilities and end consumers, but also for third-parties, such as suppliers of home automation equipment, home energy management system makers, and providers of value-added cloud services. The company is based in Vancouver, BC. For more information, visit: www.rainforestautomation.com.
ZigBee: Control your world
ZigBee offers green and global wireless standards connecting the widest range of devices to work together intelligently and help you control your world. The ZigBee Alliance is an open, non-profit association of approximately 400 organizations driving development of innovative, reliable and easy-to-use ZigBee standards. The Alliance promotes worldwide adoption of ZigBee as the leading wirelessly networked, sensing and control standard for use in consumer, commercial and industrial areas. For more information, visit: www.ZigBee.org.