T&D World Magazine

TXU Energy Launches ZigBee-Enabled Demand Response Program Over Internet

Comverge, Inc. has partnered with TXU Energy and Digi International to offer a demand response program in Texas, which will allow customers to manage their energy consumption over the Internet using a smart thermostat from Comverge.

TXU Energy is launching a two-way demand response program through a partnership that includes Comverge and Digi International. Digi will provide the Ethernet/ZigBee gateway, while Comverge will provide smart thermostats -- referred as the TXU Energy iThermostat -- using ZigBee-enabled Home Area Network (HAN) equipment. The Energy Star-certified programmable thermostat allows customers to conveniently adjust their temperature settings from any computer connected to the Internet. It also allows TXU Energy to cycle a customer's air conditioning during periods of peak energy demand, reducing the strain on generation and transmission facilities.

"The iThermostat is great for customers who want to manage their energy usage, save money and lessen the impact on our environment without giving up comfort or convenience," said Jim Burke, CEO of TXU Energy. "The TXU Energy iThermostat helps Texas efficiently manage its energy resources while providing customers greater control over their own energy usage. It is initiatives like these that will have a big impact now and into the future."

The program is free of charge to the residential customer, with customers self-installing the equipment, eliminating the expense of installation.

"This program provides the mechanism to deliver true two-way demand response programs over high-speed Internet connections," said Robert M. Chiste, Comverge Chairman, President and CEO. "Many utilities are beginning to deploy AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) systems which can take years to install. This technology allows them to deploy ZigBee-enabled demand response devices now, which can ultimately integrate with those systems.

"Our Smart Grid Solutions Group is pleased to work with TXU Energy to provide them with what we believe is the most cost-effective, innovative clean energy technology available on the market today, and we are very proud to help launch one of the nation's first IP gateway Home Area Networks."

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