Texas Utility Chooses Control4 for Smart Grid

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Control4 has been selected as the Home Area Network (“HAN”) provider for Texas-based utility Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative. Serving more than 65,000 members in 14 counties between Austin and Houston, Bluebonnet plans to begin integrating smart grid technology in its members’ homes and businesses by April 2010.

Control4 will provide Bluebonnet members with its Energy Management System, which includes an in-home display with a programmable smart thermostat that will give users the usage data and device control necessary to manage energy use and expenses.

“Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is a progressive utility looking to maximize member satisfaction and encourage efficient energy use through its Smart Grid investments,” Control4 CEO, Will West, said. “Control4 is proud to support this important initiative by providing user friendly home energy management and usage data to empower Bluebonnet members to become active in the utility’s progressive energy conservation programs.”

Bluebonnet has applied for a Department of Energy stimulus grant to fund a transformation of its entire business to a Smart Grid. To assist in that transformation, the utility sought a HAN partner to help provide engaging information and advice to the consumer that facilitates energy conservation and efficiency. Bluebonnet selected Control4 based on the platform’s functionality, expandability, and capabilities as both an energy management and control system. Control4 says it has shipped more than one million ZigBee devices and has a network of more than 1,550 dealers.

“After an extensive search process that included several product demonstrations, Bluebonnet chose the Control4 Energy Management System for its ability to provide up-to-the-minute information about energy usage and price that our members can use to manage their monthly electric bill,” Bluebonnet CEO, Mark Rose, said. “Control4’s EMS-100 combines an easy-to-use touchscreen with a flexible and expandable system at a reasonable price. These features will enable Bluebonnet’s members to be better consumers of energy and help us achieve our cooperative goal of a 20 percent reduction in system load by 2020.”

The Control4 EMS-100 system will work in concert with Silver Spring smart meters and eMeter software, feeding information back to the utility and providing customers with up-to-the-minute information on outages, conservation events, and price spikes. The Control4 system delivers energy usage data from various loads in the home, allowing homeowners to take action and manually turn off devices or program the system to do so during peak times and demand response. The entry-level system is composed of the EC100 Energy Controller, a five-inch intuitive in-home touchscreen device that supplies consumers with updates on energy usage and costs, tips for saving money on energy bills, power alerts from the utility, and information on various loads and activity within the home. The system also includes a programmable thermostat that communicates with the Energy Controller for heating and cooling control of homes and businesses.

In addition to energy management and control, the EMS-100 offers engaging lifestyle applications and features such as weather reports, traffic updates, stock quotes, and podcasts.

Control4 recently announced $17.3 million in financing to fund a new business unit, Control4 Energy Systems, based in Silicon Valley, California.

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