Feeds

US utilities plot remote switch off

I'm sorry Dave, I can't turn that kettle on

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

HomePlug, the networking standard for sending data over mains wires, is to implement ZigBee's Smart Energy protocol, allowing utilities to reach out and the thermostat turn down, or up, when power is short.

An array of US utility companies is pushing the initiative, which sees HomePlug extending ZigBee Smart Energy to work over electrical mains wiring and integrating with ZigBee-based devices. The standard allows utilities to reach out and control non-critical devices when needed, such as pool pumps, thermostats and water heaters.

HomePlug has thus far been about connecting computer networks together, but its backers clearly have aspirations beyond mundane networking. However, HomePlug's adoption as an IEEE standard has become mired in the Institute's majority voting system, despite a lack of significant competition.

"This initiative will provide seamless application integration using ZigBee or HomePlug devices", said Paul De Martini, vice president at Southern California Edison. "Mainstream market adoption of a common technology accelerates our ability to empower our customers to manage their energy usage."

Having the technology to control customers' electronics is one thing, but getting them to let you will be another - utilities are going to have to find some serious incentives before punters will let them turn off the water heating whenever they like. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.