By directly connecting utilities with customers, Silver Spring makes it possible for consumers to become their own personal consumption managers. With everything connected and working together in harmony, utilities can create a better customer experience, letting consumers choose and set up the usage parameters they want—balancing cost, comfort and convenience for their particular needs.
The tight integration of the Silver Spring NIC with our backoffice HAN Communications Manager software gives consumers the power to track, monitor and manage their own usage across in-home devices, including smart thermostats, in-home displays, load control switches and electric vehicle charging stations.
Through our long-standing partnerships with in-home device suppliers, Silver Spring enables a range of standards-based energy management devices, allowing utilities to deliver interoperability, flexibility and choice in all of their demand response (DR) and distributed energy resource (DER) programs. The Silver Spring’s Network Platform supports two approaches for in-home device connectivity:
Smart Thermostat solutions let consumers and utilities manage energy use and reduce peak demand without sacrificing comfort and convenience. By providing smart thermostat connectivity to a Silver Spring-enabled electric meter, utilities enable devices to respond automatically to time-of-use, critical peak and real-time pricing programs, as well as supporting legacy direct load control programs. Typically, devices connect securely to the meter by leveraging the ZigBee Smart Energy protocol and are installed by utility contractors or by the customer themselves as part of a bring-your-own thermostat program.
Most demand response (DR) programs in place today use legacy paging solutions that suffer from a number of limitations: Many devices are inoperable, and one-way communications leave no way to remotely detect devices that require maintenance. Forecasting and verifying load reductions is also challenging, and, with the technology approaching end of life, vendor lock-in is a serious risk. Silver Spring offers a compelling alternative in its two-way Direct-to-Grid communications for load control. Silver Spring NICs embedded in partners’ load control switches combine the optimum load-control capabilities of next-gen switches with real-time two-way communications, enabling Fast DR.
In-home displays securely deliver rate and energy data to utility customers, connecting them to their homes by providing deep insights into consumption patterns. Displaying instant energy information empowers consumers to take control of their usage habits. Some in-home displays are capable of receiving energy information in real time from the smart meter and then relaying that to a mobile app through the home Wi-Fi network, creating a simple and easy-to-use customer experience.
As consumer ownership of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles expands, there is a growing need for utilities to be able to meter and control these high-energy consuming devices. Silver Spring partners provide Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) that enable special EV rates and utility programs that provide real-time visibility and control of these devices. These devices leverage the existing smart grid infrastructure by connecting securely to the smart grid through the utility electric meter through the ZigBee Smart Energy protocol.
Silver Spring’s EVSE partners include Clipper Creek.