vote by the California's Public Utilities Commission paved the way for
a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. plan to upgrade all of the company's
residential electricity and natural gas meters, to CITRIS-based SmartMeters, a five-year project
that promises to change the way the utility's customers pay for power.
The new SmartMeters will eliminate the need for meter
readers by sending data directly to San Francisco's PG&E over power lines
and wireless transmitters. The meters also will track how much energy each
customer uses hour-by-hour, allowing the utility to charge different prices for
power consumed at different times of the day.
These innovative devices are based on work done by CITRIS researchers, including Paul Wright, Ed Arens, David Auslander and Jan Rabaey, with support from the California Energy Commission to combine "demand
response" energy pricing with a network of tiny sensors and smart thermostats
for the home.
More about the SmartMeters can be found at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/07/20/BUGEHK22A81.DTL&hw=meter&sn=005&sc=733
Information about the Demand Response project is at: http://dr.berkeley.edu/