T&D World Magazine

AEP Ohio's gridSMART Demonstration Project to Include IP-Based Home Control Systems

Control4 has been chosen by AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power, to pilot customer experiences with home energy management.

The selection of Control4 is part of AEP Ohio's gridSMART Demonstration Project, funded in part by a Smart Grid Demonstration Grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $150 million project is being deployed in northeast central Ohio. The project is designed to demonstrate the full benefits of installing a comprehensive distribution smart grid for consumers and the utility and includes approximately 110,000 advanced electricity meters, new distribution grid technology, distributed energy sources, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, smart appliances, and consumer systems and products to help customers manage electricity use and costs.

Control4’s in-home devices will increase awareness of the cost and impact of energy consumption for AEP Ohio customers. AEP Ohio plans to implement the Control4 Energy Management System (EMS 100) solution, equipping a select group of 1,000 customers with Control4 EC-100 energy controllers; 200 of those customers will also be able to use the EC-100 for automated load control via Control4 WT-100 thermostats. Beyond basic feedback of daily electricity use or cost, AEP Ohio consumers with Control4 devices will be given more ways to engage in home energy management with features like HAN management, automated device control, and the delivery of utility signals over broadband to trigger energy use decisions and actions in the home.

The EMS 100 solution includes Control4 ADVANTAGE Software. For the gridSMART project, Control4 ADVANTAGE software will monitor and update AEP customers' Home Area Networks (HANs) via the EC-100 energy controller.

The interoperability of Control4 EC-100 units with Silver Spring Networks' Smart Energy Platform also makes this portion of AEP's pilot an example of robust end-to-end IP-based Smart Grid architecture. The EC-100 has access to data from Silver Springs Networks' UtilityIQ Demand Response management application and intelligent end-point to effectively deliver complete energy information in real time.

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