The Consumer-Centric Display of Smart Meter Information via Set-top Box Systems project is a collaboration between Southern California Edison (SCE) and California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug). The system innovatively forms a bridge between electricity meters and home entertainment display. Raw energy consumption data is collected by ITRON smart meters, which are installed in most SCE customer households. The ITRON meters are equipped with a ZigBee radio, which enable this data to be transmitted to a gateway device through a ZigBee network. The gateway then sends the data to a cloud/server. Finally, the real-time data can be accessed by a set-top box and displayed on a TV screen via display web services.
In phase I, the team at California Plug Load Research Center (CalPlug) has successfully developed a web application containing three interfaces that are accessible via DirecTV set-top boxes, which displays information collected and derived from Smart Meter data. Phase II aims to refine some parts of the system loop and further extend the capability of the application. On the backend, we propose to incorporate Green Button data to enrich the data set and to simplify the system set up; on the front end, social network can be used as a tool to promote energy efficiency; furthermore, mobile applications can greatly expand the range of the audience and the available platforms for that audience; finally, home automation is our organic presence in the physical world.
The phase II projects will greatly benefit both the utility companies and their customers. The users will find the data available more accurate and useful. They will be more attracted to the product when it has been integrated seamlessly into the Home Entertainment System (HES). They will have more channels of access at their disposal using mobile devices. Energy savings and improved efficiency awareness will, of course, in turn help the utility companies in achieving their goals.