T&D World Magazine

British Columbia Institute of Technology Partners with Silver Spring Networks

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Silver Spring Networks are partnering to save energy dollars, understand energy use patterns, and make a positive impact on the environment. Imagine the dishwasher turning on when power was in less demand. The clothes dryer might advise the user to wait until energy is less expensive after peak consumption periods. This is what Silver Spring Networks is working on with BCIT.

The technology that makes this type of energy research and conservation possible is now installed in BCIT’s AFRESH home—a fully functional and sustainable family home located on the Burnaby Campus.

The Silver Spring Networks-enabled smart meter measures the total energy used and generated in AFRESH Home and sends this information wirelessly to an in-home monitor. The system provides real-time feedback on energy use, factors in on-site power generation from solar power, and estimates potential costs. The technology allows BCIT to mimic a power utility. Simulated energy grid information is sent to the home and consumers can decide how much power they want to use at any given time.

“The success of the Smart Grid depends on a close partnership between consumers and their utility”, says Eric Dresselhuys, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Silver Spring Networks. “By providing real-time information, consumers are able to save anywhere from ten- to twenty-percent per month on their utility bills. We are delighted to see this technology used in what some might call the 'Home of the Future.'"

Silver Spring’s Smart Energy Platform is a secure, end-to-end IPv6 network that lets utilities engage, educate, and empower consumers so they can work together to achieve conservation, energy, and operational efficiencies, monitor and control energy use, and achieve environmental benefits.

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