***Update - 2/10/11 - I was re-reading this post, and when I clicked on the links to Breezeplay, none of them were active. Looks like this company is out of business!
My dad called yesterday and said one of his investment letters was recommending a company called BreezePlay. After I added them to the complete list of energy monitoring companies I did some research and was happy with their offering. While it looks like they have a commercial offering as well, I'm just going to briefly go over Breezeplay's EnviroScape for residential settings. Once you get past the intro (that looks and sounds like a lower-budget Prius commercial) you see a tagline that pretty much speaks to the goal of Mapawatt Blog:
Breezeplay develops innovative ways to leverage technology for the purpose of making homes and business more convenient and energy efficient. With unique products and services, our customers can affect energy conservation with reporting and control tools that save money and the planet.
If you get an EnviroScape residential energy management solution from Breezeplay you get the following:
- One touch panel
- One residential energy meter
- Two 100 amp current transformers (CT’s)
- One power-over-Ethernet (POE) adapter
- One power transformer
They also say that other option devices (thermostats, lighting control kits, etc) are available as add-ons for the core product. Since I have an Ecobee smart thermostat that I can control over the internet, I'd like to learn more about how Breezeplay accomplishes this and how much detail they give on the thermostat. It would be nice to have the energy monitor and thermostat in one location, so you can directly see the relationship between your home's air conditioning system and energy consumption. But while they mention control in one section of the site, they also note in their FAQs that:
Does BreezePlay have the ability to access and control devices connected to my touch panel? No, BreezePlay does not have control of any devices attached to the EnviroScape touch panel. The only circumstances where a device is controlled outside the home would be when the user accesses their panel via the consumer web interface, or if the touch panel is installed by a utility as part of an energy demand management program (which requires authorization from the customer).
It looks like part of their plan will be to team with Utilities to offer their solution. In the picture at the top of the post, they have an example message from Duke Energy regarding Peak Demand and suggesting that users be aware of how much energy they are using during this time as it will cost more. (**as an aside, I worked as an Intern in a Duke Power nuclear plant. It was a very cool experience).
I'm not sure if the product is available to buy now or how much it costs. I did see that they were nominated for 2009 Sustainable NC awards and on that page I noticed that they stated the following, which would lead me to believe they are targeting communities as opposed to individuals:
BreezePlay currently has 13 communities/municipalities under contract to initiate pilot programs/studies of the EnviroScape Energy Management system and/or the Green Community Program.
We have also partnered with the University of Southern California's renowned Energy Institute to study the effect of Energy Management technology and efficiency programs on consumers' energy usage choices and behavior.
I'll keep my eye on this company as they look promising. Has anyone out there tried any of BreezePlay's products?