Belkin has increased its range of energy-savings offerings with the introduction of Conserve Gateway, a router that pairs with smart meters to provide real-time information on home energy use via a web interface. The company is looking to partner with utility companies to implement and install the system in customers’ homes.
The interface allows people to easily track and reduce energy use. It also provides conservation tips and offers utility companies the ability to push information and advice to consumers. It supports Belkin's research that confirmed consumer desire to reduce energy consumption and that information on use was a key element in achieving it.
It’s a natural progression for Belkin, given the company’s existing home wireless networking and energy management products. Given the familiarity of the Belkin name on the high street, it may well have a greater appeal to consumers than less familiar names moving into this market.
The company already has a variety of devices to help manage power use around the home, but it does seem that the main focus to date has been the US market – this product looks to be aimed at the US only. I look forward to see more of these products available internationally.
There’s certainly a need for this device. According to the Belkin press release, referring to the device interface; “Its protocol was informed by extensive ethnographic research that proved most people don't know what a kilowatt-hour (kWh) is and have even less of an idea about where power comes from.”