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New Technology Helps Save Energy at Home

As an SDG&E customer, you can now purchase and install home area network devices to see how much energy your home is using in near real-time and help identify high energy use appliances.

Want to know how much energy your home is using at any given moment? If you’re an SDG&E customer, you can now purchase and install displays called home area network devices to see how much energy your home is using in near real-time and help identify high energy use appliances. With an in-home energy display device that wirelessly connects to your SDG&E electric smart meter, you now have the opportunity to access a new tool that will help you make decisions to reduce your overall energy usage and costs.

With a few simple steps, you can find out approximately how much energy that refrigerator in your garage is using, as you watch the kilowatts and estimated cost per hour go up or down on a small digital display in your home when you turn appliances on or off. Gone are the days of needing to “guess-timate” how much energy an outdoor patio light is using during the evening compared to that new energy-efficient TV. With these new in-home displays, that information can be at your fingertips.

SDG&E has tested several new in-home energy display devices and you can learn how to connect these validated devices to your electric smart meters at sdge.com/han. The third-party in-home displays below range in price from approximately $60 to $120, and have been tested and validated for smart meter compatibility:

  • Energy Aware Technology PowerTab In-Home Display
    • Where to purchase: store.energy-aware.com
    • Features: Shows how much electricity your home is consuming at any given moment on a wireless and rechargeable, easy-to-use, magnetic backed display.
  • Rainforest Automation Energy Display (model EMU)
    • Where to purchase: rainforestautomation.com
    • Features: Real-time energy display with instant access to smart meter energy consumption as it happens; simple two-button interface with tabletop or magnet mount; battery-powered.
  • Rainforest Automation Energy Display (model EMU-2)
    • Where to purchase: rainforestautomation.com
    • Features: Real-time energy display with instant access to smart meter energy consumption as it happens; simple two-button interface with tabletop, magnet, or wall mount; plug-in with battery backup.

Start the process to connect an in-home display device to your smart meter by completing the online form at sdge.com/han, or by contacting HomeAreaNetwork@semprautilities.com or SDG&E’s Energy Savings Center at 800-644-6133.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Things I Learned January 11, 2013 at 08:29 PM
Can I put one on my smart meter?
Mark January 11, 2013 at 08:36 PM
Good - a good use for smart meters! I wonder if I can get one for water and gas too? I hope there will be a smart phone app for this soon. Track usage while away.
Things I Learned January 11, 2013 at 08:39 PM
497 ;-)
Mark January 11, 2013 at 08:44 PM
They will be coming... Just wait :-)
Ed Sorrels January 11, 2013 at 10:33 PM
$60.00 to $120.00, wow all you need is a fairly good V.O.A. meter at about $20.00 at radio shack and you can read draw on any electrical appliance, From your Refigerator to your nite lite, with one exception that I can think of which is the evil Smart-meter, SDG&E will get pretty hysterical if you try to get one in-line to it !
Mark January 11, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Ed, P3 Kill-A-Watt is better. Very easy to use. $17.84 at Walmart :-) I have had one for years. Use it two or three times a year. Love it. Home Depot has one for $20.28 VOA meters are good, I have several, IF you know what you are doing. Otherwise ZAP! smartments will be the least of your problems. For DC you can buy WattsUp meters. About $40.00 Also very good depending what you are doing. I use this to validate performance of solar panels, portable power and other DC applications. It has a computer port.
Susan Brinchman January 13, 2013 at 07:31 PM
The HAN adds continuous hazardous wireless emissions to your home, as the wireless appliances constantly emit a signal. How lovely. All so you can see how much energy your appliance is using in real time. Such a deal. Considering people are reporting illness such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, heart irrregularities, and more, following smart meter installation - not such a boon to mankind. A major physician's association is recommending that smart meters not be used on the homes of a wide number of people with medical conditions, including pregnancy, for people in these categories to avoid RF radiation. They have issued other warnings about avoidance of RF radiation for children and the general population. http://aaemonline.org/AAEMEMFmedicalconditions.pdf BioInitiative Report 2012 provides all the independent science and health authorities that are warning about connections between RF and cancer, autism, and more. http://www.bioinitiative.org/table-of-contents/ . Center for Electrosmog Prevention, a La Mesa-based national nonprofit, recommends NOT to pollute your home with radiofrequency radiation. We strongly advise NOT to purchase this device nor any new wireless signal-emitting home appliances (refrig, washer/dryers/ etc). Buy ones that do not have wireless. How to know what to avoid? Do not ask the salesman, they will likely not know. Look for a FCC ID number on the appliance. That means it has wireless signals. Don't buy it. www.electrosmogprevention.org
Susan Brinchman January 13, 2013 at 07:35 PM
To learn more about smart meters and their dangerous mesh network, view a detailed brochure online at http://www.electrosmogprevention.org/stop-ca-smart-meter-news/stop-smart-meters-brochure-v-2/. Ordering the HAN system (Home Area Network) being promoted above by SDG&E and their admirers, will cause the 2.45 GHz radio in the smart meter to become activated, sending radiation on the same frequency as your microwave oven into your home 24/7. Turns your home into a microwave oven, on slow cook, essentially. We strongly advise against it. www.electrosmogprevention.org
Jay Berman January 13, 2013 at 10:29 PM
How about just generating enough local electricity with natural gas so prices are low and we have an abundant supply .... what we have now is a mess .. trading electricity ... now how do you trade an intangible ? Something you can't store or see ? How do you have a supply and demand market ? Every nickel these traders make on trading electricity is a nickel we don't have ... before this deregulation, utilities were responsible for generating the electricity needed for their service area and they were able to make a reasonable profit ... today, more money is made moving electricity, proabaly why we import so much over wind, quake and fire zones ... enough conservation, how about a little abundance ?
Ed Sorrels January 14, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Zap ! On that you are right Mark, But by the time you have accumulated several V.O.M. meters I would suspect that yoou would know how to use them as do I. every thing in the average house is easily checkable with the exception of "Whole House Draw' which would entail getting into the meter box, For the average home owner this is not advised. I was not aware of the "Kill-a-watt which for the average home owner is probably a better solution if they want to start chasing "Watt's" just for me the V.O.M. was first idea as I have used them a lot over the last 50 or so years and especially since the computer has become intergal to the trucking industry, Some of the big ones have as many as 5 on board, which wouldn't be so bad, Except they all talk to each other and can make diagnostic's a nightmare !
Jay Berman January 14, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Just a matter of time until they install new breakers that communicate with the smart meter so the utility will have complete control of your electric usage ... Just knowing how mush you are drawing depending on time of day won't be good enough ...
Ed Sorrels January 14, 2013 at 02:12 AM
Jay, I went solar 2 years ago and couldn't be happier. To say it is a money saver is not the whole story, as now with a gen set also hooked into the terminus box I can't be shut down by SDG&E. It gives you a sense of security. I realize that I am now being showered by Susan's ray's but if about 60 or so years of welding hasn't fried me I don't think her "Waves" will. Susan if you should read this what would you suggest ? Going back to wood fires and a coal oil lantern's, When our family came to California in 1940 the first place we lived up in the central valley by Fresno had a wood stove and light was the sun or a really stinking coal oil lantern, I have no desire to go back to those years thank you! Or wear a tin foil hat !
Jay Berman January 14, 2013 at 02:19 AM
Ed, If I was to go solar, I would go off grid completely, install a deep cycle battery bank and a natural gas automatic generator .. I am an RF / EMI engineer .. very familiar with RF radiation, working with it in one way or another my entire career ... Today I setup networks to handle my camera traffic over wide areas like HOAs and such ... I use 900 mhz, 2.4G and 5.2G bands .... I work around cell sites ... when I was in the Navy back in the 70's I worked with high energy radar ... now THAT can be nasty ... Susan sells these worthless devices to "protect" you against RF energy ... the only way to dissapate RF energy requires a path to ground ... so these cannot work whatsoever .. so they scare people that know no better about smart meters to sell them this garbage ...
Jay Berman January 14, 2013 at 02:25 AM
She compares smart meters to a microwave oven ... LOL ... Sure, a microwave operates at 2.45Ghz .. Wifi operates at 2.4Ghz ... but here is the difference .. a Microwave oven is a directional signal sealed in an RF enclosure that reflects the energy .. which is between 600 and 1000 WATTS .. Smart meters are polled, they do not always transmit and their energy output is omni directional at less than a watt ... WIFI is omni directonal at about 400 MILLIWATS (less than half a watt) cell phones are about 80 Mw .. 900 - 1800 Mhz ...
Susan Brinchman January 14, 2013 at 06:38 AM
https://www.sdge.com/webform/3837/connect-device-your-smart-meter Required to agree to in order to join the Home Area Network program - where your appliances talk to the smart meter, the Zigbee radio is activated, you can see what your appliances are doing in "near" real-time, AND SDG&E can, at will, power down or shut off your appliances. That includes heat, AC, refrig, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc. All because they are connected to the HAN. AND you can't hold them liable for any personal injuries or property damage etc. Such a deal! Not to mention the increased radiation in your home. I hope no one falls for this very one-sided non-beneficial-to-the-customer program. Article above was crafted to entice, but doesn't tell all. "Customer acknowledges and agrees that: SDG&E, its current and future parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, and their respective directors, officers, managers, shareholders, employees, agents, and representatives (each an “SDG&E Party”) shall have no liability whatsoever for damages, losses, liabilities, expenses and costs (including, reasonable outside and allocated in-house attorneys’ fees), whether consequential, indirect, direct or otherwise, and whether arising in connection with personal injury, property damage, data loss or otherwise, arising out of or in connection with Customer’s HAN-enabled Devices. SDG&E makes no representations as to the safety, reliability, performance, security or efficiency of such devices."
Jay Berman January 14, 2013 at 06:49 AM
THAT IS AN ALL OUT LIE ... they CANNOT monitor individual circuits or control any appliance in your house with the exception of your air condidtioning compressor that takes a secondary device that you sign up to get to save money on your summer bill ...
Susan Brinchman January 14, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Not so. Our nonprofit, Center for Electrosmog Prevention, is a Party to the smart grid proceedings at the CPUC (several) and the home area network is designed to control the appliances with the newer appliances that come with wireless built-in (but not advertised as such). This is the part of the plan that allows the utility to power down or shut off your appliances. This is occurring already in various parts of the nation and Canada. People are finding their refrig's turned down or off, their dishwashers, dryers, washing machines. It is to reduce use, to prevent strain on the grid. Instead of you deciding to do it when asked, they do it to you.
Susan Brinchman January 14, 2013 at 03:11 PM
US Dept of Energy info below - are they lying? I don't think so. People commenting here need to do their homework better. This is the hidden agenda of the smart meters, smart grid and Home Area Networks. If you are a customer who doesn't want this happening, opt-out of the smart meters on your property by calling your California utility. And don't buy appliances with a FCC number on them, indicating they are wireless. Page 2 & 3: the HAN architecture as it relates to the utility. ... the utility, which has traditionally controlled the majority if not all the electrical infrastructure, will be able to control all the appliances within the home to better manage the grid. This is currently in use in some areas where consumers opt-in to allow the utility to shut off their Air Conditioning units during peak" (oage 3 diagram of smart appliances) [note: most now and then later, ALL new appliances will come wireless- ready, to be controlled by the utility]. http://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=700977 Figure 1 Utility Managed Smart Devices (Image derived from [1])
Mark January 14, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Susan Brinchman - I suggest that you hold a open class where people can see the actual measuring of Smartmeters, Cell Phones, Microwaves, and CFL Lights. Show the test and let people try their own phones.
Jay Berman January 14, 2013 at 08:38 PM
I used to have a linear amplifier for 10 meter ham radio band ... 500 watts ... I was able to hold a flourescent buld near the antenna, key down and the tube would glow ... pretty neat ! You can use meters or whatever to make an impression on the uneducated ... trickery to sell bogus products ..
Susan Brinchman January 14, 2013 at 09:17 PM
The measurement of these items may readily be seen on YouTube demo's - enter the device name, radiation measurement in the search engine. That will show these. But good idea! I can't be near those items, so I could not do it. Since the smart meters rendered me electrosensitive, I must avoid RF radiation and all the devices you named. Makes life much more difficult.
Mark January 14, 2013 at 09:32 PM
NO YouTube -Live where everyone can have hands on. A place where your story can be shown live. Where your side can be proved. If you can't do it, I am sure you have followers that can do it for you. Earth Day is coming up. Seems reasonable to have something other than beads, bobbles, and trinkets.
Things I Learned January 14, 2013 at 10:02 PM
no youtube? :-(
Ed Sorrels January 15, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Right that is a cute trick, Back in the hayday of C.B. radio I used to work on over the road trucks that had amplifer's that were out of this world, We could shut of the lights in the shop and key down and they would light the whole shop, The other thing with one of the big amplifers you could pull up next to some going down the road and broadcast thru their C.B. reciever even if it was turned off, But I still think susan is a nut that isa trying to recruit other nuts to buy what ever the hell it is she is selling. Just my take !
Jay Berman January 15, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Back in the CB days, we had all sorts of tricks and fun ... I had a SSB radio with a lot of power .. I'd key down, they heard me in Columbia ... Today I have a 2m ham radio in each car and a multi band base ... I do not use them for a hobby, they are there for emergency ... If we have major quakes, fires or political unrest, communications that we take for granted wil be at risk ... You're right Ed, Susan just wants to sell that garbage ... you cannot attenuate energy without a path to ground .... its all a ripoff ...
Ed Sorrels January 15, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Jay, You are sure right about one thing, I guess it was about the 8th. or 9th. grade in elecrtic shop I learned that most thing's woule act as a condenser to some degree and the only way to dissapate the electrical energy was thru a SOLID grnd. And later when they brought computer controlled engines into the big trucks, Just what kind of havoc could be wrought by what looked like a solid ground that wasn't in fact one, They could drive you nut's if there was any resistance built up in the connection !
Jay Berman January 15, 2013 at 12:52 AM
Ground loops .... when you have potential between "gounds" .. I deal with them in my camera systems with long runs or devices powered on different circuits ... to dissapate RF energy you have to have the correct wavelength antenna to match the frequency and some sort of RC network (resistor / capacitor) and a ground ... but that doesn't "clean" the area of RF energy .... just receives some and grounds it .. a pendant or something you stick on your cell phone is garbage ....
Mark January 15, 2013 at 04:05 AM
I have a few HAM radios VHF and HF and activity participate in Emgerency Communications. I take pride in being able to operate anyplace anywhere anytime needed in the country. That's a whole new subject we could talk about.
Mark January 15, 2013 at 04:05 AM
Things - LOL 783
Jay Berman January 15, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Mark - I usually have Palomar .730 on in my car and the 2m Catalina repeater 147.090 on at home / office I rarely talk .... KI6TWZ My antenna at home is about 12 feet from me on the roof ... 100 watts .... lol ... makes me glow !!

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