Cisco Blogs

Powering Up Energy Management Tools for Consumers: What Do You Think?

June 29, 2010 - 13 Comments

Today at Cisco Live! we announced an exciting new technology that will securely and reliably provide consumers both insight into, and easier control over, their energy use, ultimately saving them money and lowering their carbon emissions.

Cisco Home Energy Controller

The Cisco Home Energy Controller (HEC) is a countertop display that communicates with other intelligent home devices to optimize in-home energy management. Through the HEC’s LCD touch screen, the user has insight and control over peripheral devices such as thermostats, intelligent sockets and, ultimately, smart appliances like refrigerators and water heaters.

I’m particularly excited about this for two reasons.  For Cisco, the HEC is a core solution in our Cisco Connected Grid portfolio and will play a key role in our end-to-end architecture for the smart grid.

For consumers, it gives us visibility into how our energy use around the house affects our utility bill, and the ability to make more informed choices about when to use energy based on real time, historical and individual appliance consumption.

Clearly, the potential is enormous. At Cisco, we believe this is the beginning of a whole new phase of using the network as the platform to help integrate information and digital technology to manage energy use on a large scale.

We believe people are ready – and even hungry for this.

Recent research from Parks Associates* indicates that of those surveyed:

  • More than half of all households are very interested in products and utility programs that reduce electric bills.
  • Two-thirds are interested in an in-home usage monitor.
  • Energy-efficient products are very important.

I’d enjoy hearing what you think! Do you want a home energy controller? Do you think it will make a difference in your energy consumption? Do you think people will use these on an ongoing basis, even once the novelty wears off?

I look forward to hearing from you!


*Parks Assoc: Residential Energy Management Webcast, Feb. 25, 2010

(PDF received from Dee Dee Pare)

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  1. Thank goodness that the future is here!I hope that this will be usable in both households and shops. I’d be glad to have one in my car repair shop. Most of the time I use a lot of electrical tools so I’d have a better view on my energy consumption.

  2. This product is going to rock. Will really help with the day to day activities of my law firm trying to be energy conscious and green.

  3. I think that a tool like this is very much needed. Anything that we can do to save energy, and the environment is a win-win in my book. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to save a little bit of money! 🙂

  4. Great idea! I think that the the way that we are consuming now the energy will affect future generations more than we can imagine.

  5. The respondents seemed to have no patience to wait for this technology are marketed immediately. Come on Cisco, soon realized this sophisticated devices…!!

  6. It is an advanced device that really broadens my vision.

  7. I was just talking to my son about our utilities bill.I would buy this product in a second! Anything that pays for itself so quickly is a must buy. I’m curious what the price would be though.

  8. I think that is going to be a great product. That is an interesting point by Sam on subsidizing or getting credits back from the utility companies. In NJ we have a great program with SRECS being given from the utility companies on renewable energy sources. I hope the product does well..

  9. I can see this being extremely popular with homes in the UK who are wanting to save money and monitor costs – will the device be linked to Cisco’s systems to collect statistics and create research on energy usage?f

  10. I actually saw something like this, but much more simplified. It only had three lights on it, only really showing whether you were using too much energy for a preset level.I like this one more though, it is far more interesting!

  11. Wow Laura.. very neat device. It would be great if you didn’t need anything other than the controller to use it’s energy savings features, but that is probably impossible.

  12. This is amazing. Being very energy conscious myself I can see using this extensively. Brilliant.

  13. I think this is great that another consumer product is hitting the market. I just read about the controller on CNet.Here in Ontario – Canada, the entire province has converted to smart meters, and the utilities are offering a web portal to monitor the usage down to the hour. I have been using it for a while now and it has certainly helped us learn more about our consumption and even reduce consumption or cost with simple observation of our usage pattern.The only thing that is missing is real time tracking of consumption, which is not available through our utility. So I love the ability to track real time in this Cisco home controller.Good stuff!My only question, is this going to be subsidized by the utility cos?