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Cisco launches energy monitoring solutions

New solutions will help businesses and homes to monitor energy consumption

Cisco's HEC will give home users instant oversight of their energy consumption.
Cisco's HEC will give home users instant oversight of their energy consumption.

Cisco has launched a set of new solutions to help businesses and home users to monitor their energy consumption.

The solutions build on Cisco's Connected Grid portfolio, which help utility companies with monitoring and control of power grids. The new solutions are intended to help companies and residents to better understand and manage energy consumption, in order to cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.

For home users, utility companies will be able to provide homes with the Cisco Home Energy Management Solution and Cisco Energy Management Services, which include a Home Energy Controller (HEC). The HEC is a countertop device, with LCD touchscreen, which will connect into home systems such as thermostats, intelligent sockets and smart appliances, and allow residents to both monitor energy consumption and set up schedules and policies for energy usage. According to research by IDC, customers reduce overall energy use by 4% to 15% when they receive real-time feedback on their power consumption.

Cisco says that the solutions are intended to be support the drive towards better energy management, by providing utility companies with end-to-end open standards based communications across the grid.

Paul Fulton, general manager, Cisco Prosumer Business Unit / Cisco Smart Grid commented: "Utilities around the world are moving toward a more modern, efficient and environmentally friendly energy infrastructure. Cisco's Home Energy Management Solution can be an integral part of that transition by helping utilities empower their customers to make choices about their consumption, understand the trade-offs related to time-of-use pricing, and be in better control of their energy efficiency.

"With its simple and elegant user interface, the Cisco Home Energy Controller is like a virtual energy assistant for consumers, giving them valuable information about, and more discretion over, their energy use. Cisco is excited to introduce this important addition to our Connected Grid portfolio," he added.

Cisco also announced two new additions to its Smart Connected Buildings initiative, the Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager 6300, which provides centralized management of smart connected buildings dispersed over different locations, and the Cisco Network Building Mediator 3.1, which provides a platform to link different building management systems and protocols via IP.

The Network Building Mediator Manager 6300 is intended to allow companies to manage all of their smart buildings from a central location, including systems such as HVAC, lighting and metering, to implement common policies and provide more efficient facilities management.

Sandeep Vij, vice president and general manager, Cisco Converged Building Systems Business Unit said: "Business energy requirements in commercial buildings represent a large percentage of the world's overall energy consumption. Providing management, facilities and IT teams with clear, real-time visibility into the impact of energy flows is a first step toward managing buildings in a more intelligent way. Cisco is taking the Connected Grid vision several steps further with the new Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager, which allows small teams to take actionable decisions across multiple buildings and campuses using a simple interface. By enabling multiple, disparate building automation systems and protocols to be effectively monitored and managed over IP, Cisco is delivering on the network as the platform for sustainable management of real estate and IT."