HomeKit App Software Rumored to Get Hardware Partner

Written By: Energy Guru - Aug• 12•14

Apple into the smart home spaceRumors are circulating that Apple is setting its sight on the home market following reports that the company is working on matching hardware for their recently released HomeKit Software. Sources say that the company is interested in products with a wide appeal such as home control panels and advanced speaker systems.

The reports are that Apple is beyond the exploration phase stages and the hardware may become a reality, though not anytime soon. If the hardware is developed, it would integrate with the HomeKit app which was unveiled in June.

The new software allows automation firms to synch with IOS. Customers can, therefore, control their devices using their iPad or iPhone. This pairing means that a user can use his or her iPhone to open their doors and even unlock their garage. In addition, HomeKit software also enables the grouping of devices.

It is highly speculated that the rumors have some measure of truth to it, as Apple has a history of releasing software before the hardware.

Sentri Smart Home Device for the Tech Savvy

Written By: Energy Guru - Jul• 02•14

smart securityTech Savvy fanatics will embrace the newest security device on the market- Sentri. Makers of this smart home and security device claim that it is the smartest in its category. Sentri boasts features that enables users to geofence their home, monitor ambient conditions, set up alerts for irregularities, view trends and statistics and also check in on live video and audio feed.

Plugging in, switching on and connecting the device to a wifi network will get it up and running. It will then monitor the home and create a picture of normal conditions. The information is displayed on the screen and the related mobile app. The device will then begin to send notifications ranging from fluctuations in temperature to unexpected noise and motion.

Those who are mindful of an haphazard decor can also personalize Sentri’s appearance to blend with existing decor to make it less conspicuous. The device can either be placed on a shelf using the kick stand feature or mounted on a wall.

Google Buys Maker of Nest Thermostat

Written By: Energy Guru - Feb• 05•14

nest thermostatGoogle has purchased Nest, and with it its Nest thermostat. This innovative product helps to bring smart grid technology to more homeowners. Also, this product has been shown to be very easy to use for homeowners who are familiar with grid technology.

The Nest thermostat connects to the internet via a home’s wifi or internet signal. It is able to learn how the family likes their heat and cooling so that it can predict what to do in the future. This allows the homeowner to lower their heating and cooling bills by allowing Nest to change the temperature for them.

Controlling the Nest thermostat can be done from a computer or a tablet/smartphone. This means that homeowners can remotely control their home’s temperature without being in the home. The goal is to allow families to lower their bills with a system that works with their smartphones while they already use so much.

Nest currently has agreement with several major electricity providers including Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy in Texas.

AT&T Envisions Great Future For Prepay Electric Plans

Written By: Energy Guru - Feb• 03•14

electricity meterIn previous years prepaid electricity was not common among Americans despite many subscribing to prepaid cellular service.  However, the concept is beginning to gain popularity, and large cellular companies such as AT&T are getting in on the action.  This is following announcements by the company that they will be the sole provider of utility payment solutions for Paygo.

AT&T views the increase in prepaid cellular customers as an indication that the consumer is changing and may be ready to consider prepaid electricity as well.  Regulators and utility companies alike are also interested in pursuing prepaid electricity program.  This was confirmed in a survey conducted by the cellular giant in whom it was revealed that a third of utility companies would implement prepaid electric plans if the cost to do so was low or didn’t cost them anything.

The survey also revealed that electric companies lose a lot of money to uncollectible bills.  However, AT&T estimates that if the companies were to implement prepaid electric plans, they would save a maximum of $15 million annually.  The prepaid program would also decrease the number of disconnection notices that utility companies send out.

Despite the encouraging results from the survey, for the prepay plans to be successful, certain issues will first need to be addressed.  For example, customers would need to be provided with real-time information of their usage, and if their service is disconnected, the utilities company will have to be able to carry out re-connection just as quickly.  The program will also need to exhibit certain similarities with prepaid cellular service such as the ability for customers to sign up and pay for their service on line.

Although many utility companies display an interest in implementing the prepay plan, very few are willing to take their first leap.  However, one company who is taking a risk with this program is a Michigan utility company called Consumers Energy.  The company already have a plan to test prepay services with 1,000 customers.

The Panasonic Showcase Home Brings Energy Efficiency to a New Level

Written By: Energy Guru - Jan• 07•14

Panasonic Showcase HomeThe Panasonic Showcase Home is the newest wave in advanced home-building technology.  While the home is just like any other on the surface, it lives in a world that brings to most advanced techniques to the modern home.  In these homes, efficiency is the word.

Each home like the Panasonic Showcase Home is designed to sit on a grid with other similar homes that allows them all to share excess energy.  Being on this special grid helps to save each homeowner money and keep from wasting energy.

The countertops in the kitchen are hydroponic so that herbs and vegetables can be grown with excess water that is irrigated through the countertop.  Custom colorization technology allows the homeowner to move items in a room while the walls take the colors of each object and produce a complementary color on the wall.

Finally, the SMARTHEMS (Smart Home Energy Management System) from Panasonic allows for every electrical device in the home to linked to a central grid.  The system helps to conserve energy wherever necessary while showing the homeowner how much energy has been used.

The Panasonic Showcase Home has taken home technology to a completely new level.

The Samsung Home Electric Ecosystem

Written By: Energy Guru - Jan• 07•14

Smart Home by SamsungThe Samsung Smart Home service is designed to be the all-in-one home ecosystem for every family.  While the technology may sound new, it is simply an advancement of technology used in laboratories and hospitals.  The Smart Home was made to make the home more comfortable and efficient through a variety of systems.

The software for the system is divided into three features.  There is Device Control, Home View, and Smart Customer Service.

Device Control allows the homeowner to control any linked electric device in the home from a stereo to the dishwasher all from a central location.  Devices can be turned on an off to improve energy efficiency and reduce electricity bills, and the output of each device can be monitored.

Home View allows the homeowner to see all of the electricity consumption in the entire house.  Being able to look over the consumption for the whole house allows the homeowner to see what the house is doing all in real time.

Smart Customer Service gives the homeowner a chance to contact Samsung for assistance with any appliance or electrical issue in the home.  The combination of these services gives the homeowner a three-pronged attack on energy efficiency and consumption.

Whirlpool Dips Its Toe Into The Smart Wifi Appliance Market

Written By: Energy Guru - Jan• 07•14

Whirlpool Smart AppliancesWhirlpool has taken the first foray into wifi electric appliances and appliances control.  These devices such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washer/dryer sets are capable of linking up to a new Whirlpool app that anyone can download to their smartphone.

With this app, any homeowner can monitor the progress of their washer/dryer without having to listen for the buzzer.  The homeowner can see if the refrigerator and freezer are the right temperature, and they can even check on the progress of the dishwasher before a huge dinner party.

Whirlpool’s wifi appliances allow the homeowner to do other things besides stand over the appliance and wait for it to finish.  Knowing that the dishes will be done in 14 minutes, the wash in 12 minutes, and that the freezer has been turned down to make the homemade ice cream set makes the entire home more convenient for the busy family that is constantly active and on the go.

$4 Billion Subsidy to Texas Power Plants

Written By: Energy Guru - Jan• 06•14

power plantThe billions of dollars in expense for new power plants will have an effect on the state of Texas, and reports are looking into how they will need to accommodate these big power companies. The state senate committee also held a hearing to try and analyze the market for electricity further.

What’s being considered is a capacity market which will involve a subsidy that would fund these new power plants in Texas. This idea has drawn fierce opposition. Passing off around $4 billion per year is not an idea that many are backing up, and it is being determined what kind of effect this subsidy would have on the economy in Texas.

Senators in Texas who attended the hearing in Austin weren’t so sure if the power plants are really needed in the state.

New Jersey is critical of the state’s choice for a subsidy, saying that it is a stake that they should not be taking. $4 billion is a lot to give out to power plants, so it is uncertain how this situation will play out.