Energy@Home consortium selects ST

October 13, 2011 // By Phil Ling
Enel has selected ST to be its key semiconductor partner in the Energy@Home consortium launched by Electrolux, Enel, Indesit and Telecom Italia in October 2009, with the objective of helping private home owners and customers use electricity in a more efficient way. Systems will provide information on household consumption on computers, cell phones, or on the display of the appliance itself.

The Energy@Home initiative will develop a system in which "smart appliances" will be able to independently manage themselves, thereby adjusting the power being used across the entire home and avoiding consumption peaks and overloads.

The project is a further step towards the development of the so-called “smart grid,” which, in the future, will allow information from appliances to “self-program” depending on power supply and price. As a result, appliances will start functioning at non-peak (and therefore at less expensive) times of day, avoiding meter shutdowns due to overloads and automatically balance consumption without jeopardizing proper execution of equipment.

With easy access to information on consumption and the possibility to download customized programs to help save energy, consumers will be able to use their appliances in a “smart” manner, with the objective of enhancing the entire energy system’s efficiency. The system will also include a Coordinated Management Mode, in which the “Home Gateway” plans operations, taking into account price information, selected household-appliance programs and the customer’s needs and constraints via a dialogue with smart dishwashers, washing machine, refrigerators, and other household appliances.

“Minimizing global consumption of electrical energy is one of the main challenges facing the world today. This new collaboration with Enel underpins ST’s commitment to further develop technologies and solutions that address energy savings,” said Matteo Lo Presti, Group Vice President, Industrial and Multisegment Sector, STMicroelectronics. “The Energy@Home initiative has already demonstrated that the combination of smarter meters, smarter appliances and access to real-time information on energy usage and costs encourages users to change their energy consumption patterns, resulting in lower costs to the consumer and a more efficient electricity supply. We are certain that ST’s contribution to the Consortium, will open doors to extend easy access to household energy consumption information to an even broader consumer population.” 

An essential part of the new key collaboration between ST and Enel is the combination of ST’s USB key, based on