Energy Management Apps for the iPad  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

Earth2Tech has a look at some applications that let iPad users visualise energy usage within their homes - More Energy Management Apps for the iPad.

Visible Energy’s iPad app is a tweak of its iPhone app, which is connected to the Energy UFO product that the company launched at our Green:Net conference in 2009 (Green:Net 2010 will take place on April 29). The Energy UFO product includes smart outlets that can be controlled wirelessly over a home network and the application (as well as the web site) displays energy usage and provides remote control and programming capabilities. Visible Energy says the iPad version will be available “shortly” (the iPhone app can also be used over the iPad).

The iPad could ultimately be disruptive in the home energy market, because if consumers embrace it as a popular “fourth screen” in the home, it could both displace the need for separate energy gadgets, and could also give a boost the home energy management market. The home energy market is a nascent ecosystem that’s made up of: utilities that are trying get their customers to consume less energy, startups building smart energy software and energy dashboards that will manage energy data in the home and help customers consume less, large manufacturers dabbling in connected appliances, and investors looking for ways to make money.

If you’re never heard of the market, it’s because from a consumer perspective it really doesn’t exist yet. According to Texas-based consultants KEMA, 68 percent of Americans haven’t heard of the smart grid, and exuberance in the home energy market “should be tempered to account for the challenge of engaging large numbers of residential customers.”

The early stage is one reason why the iPad could be disruptive. Visible Energy CEO Marco Graziano, told me earlier this month:
I never thought specialized displays were a good idea for monitoring energy consumption. They don’t have any sex appeal and are too expensive anyway as freebies for utilities to give away. We found that interactivity is really a plus when it gets to visualizing energy consumption and to engaging people in energy awareness. In this respect the iPad is a breakthrough.

Visible Energy is the second home energy management iPad app coming to market — Control4 launched a free iPad app during the hullabaloo of the iPad launch weekend. At the time, Glen Mella, the President and COO of Control4 told me in an interview: “We’re excited to embrace the iPad as another way to bring home automation and home energy management to the mainstream.”

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