Belkin Launches Gateway to Bring Smart Meter Data into the Home
Published October 01, 2010
PLAYA VISTA, CA — Electronics manufacturer Belkin this week released the latest in its Conserve line of energy-saving products, and in the process moved the smart grid from version 1.0 toward 2.0.
Belkin’s new Conserve Gateway is a wireless router that connects to a home or business’s smart meter, and gives users real-time insight about energy use through a web-based interface.
As relatively straightforward as that technology sounds, it hurdles one of the big obstacles slowing the smart grid’s progress: The router makes a smart meter a tool as useful to residences as it is to utilities.
As utilities across the country rolled out smart meters for their customers, some areas have seen a backlash attributable to a combination of at-times faulty technology and poor education by utilities about the potential benefits of smart meters. In California in particular, but from coast to coast, politicians and individuals have begun putting the brakes on smart grid expansions.
Smart meters are currently part of the first phase of the evolution of the grid from centralized and disconnected to decentralized and interconnected, but the meters to date have primarily served as a way to ease utilities’ ability to collect data. Rather than sending employees out to read every meter, smart meters simply transmit the data wirelessly.
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