Did you ever have that weird feeling when opening up the electricity bill? Or did you ever feel like the payable amount was too much?… Well, we think you’ve been getting that a lot lately, but from now on there’s one way to be sure: by installing “MyPower Energy Platform”!
This is a smart plug with a GSM unit in it, that you can attach to your washing machine, clothes dryer, microwave, water heater or fridge. The system does two good things: one, it keeps track of how much power the appliance takes in and two, it tells you when the energy in the grid is at its cheapest.
In the first scenario, the plug reports the consumed amount of power via SMS every half hour to a warehouse-based server. So every time you feel like checking up on how much you have to pay, you just have to access the MyPower website and take a look at the detailed description (peak, shoulder and off-peak rates). In the second scenario, when you know the electricity is more expensive, you just re-schedule your washing machine or unplug something from the house, so your costs don’t skyrocket.
The system is great because it gives you a chance to think ahead; even if you’re not the event-planner of the family, the possibility of seeing your bills drop down with up to 10% might make you more cost-conscious. So why wasn’t this possible with the classic system? MyPower tackles this exact shortcoming: even if the data of the appliance is broken up into several parts, it can still be held up for pay through analytics-based applications.
All thanks go to the PhD students responsible for the technology – Mahboobeh Mogaddham and Waiho Wong and supervisor Professor Joseph Davis, Director of the Knowledge Discovery and Management Research Group, who thinks everybody can benefit from it, householders and governments alike. Moreover, the CeBIT commission thought the finding so practical that it rewarded them with the NASSCOM IT Technical Innovation Award. From now on, you’ll know exactly how much you want to pay for energy! Except one thing: I don’t know how much the service itself will cost (those GSM subscriptions can be hefty).
Both Microsoft and Google gave up on the idea of power metering a while ago, so until someone comes up with something that’s cheaper and with a real return on investment, this business is as good as dead.