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GE Makes Dumb Homes a Little Smarter

Sections: Green Home Tech, Power management, Smart Home

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GreenBiz has the skinny on a new suite of energy management products recently (and not-so-recently) released by GE to aid consumers in monitoring and lowering their energy usage.

The biggest impediment to energy monitoring and awareness thus far, the story explains, is utility companies’ lethargic roll-out of smart meters — updated digital meters that allow for more precise monitoring, and ostensibly enable the power company to provide you with detailed feedback on your energy consumption. (And I say ostensibly, because I’ve had a smart meter for a few years now, and all the promised feedback has yet to arrive.)

GE’s new system, according to the story at Green Biz, is designed to provide valuable information even if you don’t have a smart meter, though, and even if some or all of your devices are remedial:

The new products build on a device called the Nucleus, a home energy management device. When GE launched the Nucleus in mid-2010 …

With the Whole-House Sensor, one of three products GE unveiled this week, users can still collect energy-use data and upload it to the Nucleus device. The Whole-House Sensor effectively acts like a smart meter, in terms of its ability to make energy-use data available to users.

GE also launched Smart Plugs, which users can plug into standard 120-volt outlets. They act as sensors for electronics and appliances, communicating energy-usage data to the Nucleus energy manager. Users can then tap into this data via online software in order to track how much energy each of their appliances or home electronic devices use.

Of course, GE is also offering a whole host of devices designed to interact with the system (including a hybrid water heater and all the usual suspects, like refrigerators, stoves, and washers of all sorts), but the Smart Plugs sound like a reasonably affordable way to bring your power-hungry devices into the future without replacing them completely. For now, at least. And all of the data collected is easily viewable on a computer or iOS devices.

Best of all, the system doesn’t sound terribly expensive. “The estimated retail costs of the Whole-House Sensor, Nucleus and Smart Plugs are $199, $149, and $99, respectively.”

For more information, visit GE’s Nuclues with Brillion Technology website, or call 800.220.6899.

Via: [GreenBiz]

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