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Intel Powers Its Way Inside the Smart Grid


Blue Line Innovation's PowerCost monitor gets data from a utility meter using an optical reader

Blue Line Innovation

Intel wants you to take more interest in your energy use but isn't fussy about how you do it.

The chip giant has developed a broad strategy to make money on smart-grid technologies, touching on everything from high-performance computing to simulate the electricity grid to home energy management systems.

Its efforts have been relatively low-profile because Intel's microprocessors are embedded in other companies' products. But the company is seeing some early activity: it expects to pilot test different types of home energy management devices with partners in the next 30 to 60 days in Oregon, said Lorie Wigle, general manager of Intel's Eco-Technology group, at the Jefferies Clean Tech Conference for investors here on Tuesday.

Also in the works is a project with smart-grid start-up Tendril Networks to let consumers program a home's energy settings from an IP television, she added. The companies expect to test that product, which will be able to communicate with utilities and a home thermostat, later this year, according to representatives.

The idea with home energy management systems is to give consumers tools to view electricity use and better control home appliances so they can cut utility bills. Simply providing more details will aid people who are looking to reduce waste, but it's still unclear what sorts of devices and business models will stick with consumers.

From CNET
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