Itron Inc. has announced a partnership with OpenPeak Inc. for integration of Itron’s advanced metering systems with OpenPeak’s Home Energy Management Solution. Combining the technologies will allow utility companies and their customers to more actively manage in-home energy consumption to save money and help preserve the environment.
Itron is the first advanced metering vendor chosen by OpenPeak to incorporate its line of user-friendly, multimedia touch screen units into its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI)/smart grid network. Under terms of the agreement, Itron will provide ERT reading technology to OpenPeak. This means a single reading device can be used with either an OpenWay installation or many of Itron’s legacy ERT-enabled devices for electric, gas or water service, helping customers leverage their existing Itron investment.
The OpenPeak Home Energy Management Solution provides a simple user-friendly display of the real-time energy usage and pricing data provided by Itron’s advanced metering systems. OpenPeak’s technology also provides a centralized user interface for thermostats and communication capabilities including demand response event notification. Its integration with OpenWay and ChoiceConnect enables utilities to better manage and communicate residential demand response programs to help conserve energy when demand is at its peak. For example, consumers who have signed up for a utility's demand response program can reduce their nonessential usage by cutting back on lighting and cooling in underused parts of their home when the electrical grid is near capacity.
Both companies’ technologies support a variety of communication standards including ZigBee and WiFi, allowing for true interoperability, which is foundational to the burgeoning smart grid.
The solution also eliminates the need for a homeowner to change devices when an electric utility upgrades from the AMR capabilities provided by ChoiceConnect to the advanced smart grid functionality of OpenWay. Additionally, by leveraging OpenPeak's back-end services platform and suite of downloadable applications, the same device can deliver a complete information and communication experience including news, sports, weather, social networking, music, and family photos, all of which help to create long-term user engagement.