Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) products are a part of the burgeoning global industry of devices that integrate and enable the Smart Grid. SBI defines the Smart Grid as a powerful command and control system composed of smart sensors and devices inside and outside a home or business that efficiently monitors the flow of electricity to prevent service disruptions. HEMS enable consumers worldwide to limit their energy consumption and more effectively manage their spending on electricity used for household power. Utilities benefit from the deployment of HEMS as they improve the overall response to electricity demand on the grid. HEMS help limit energy use and save consumers money on their electric bills.
Utilizing a suite of hardware devices and software programs, HEMS facilitate the demand response imperatives of the electricity Smart Grid while empowering consumers with information and the ability to automatically or manually control energy functions. A crucial component of HEMS is the electronic information display (EID), which enables consumers to visually see their energy use and respond to dynamic price signals and manage their energy cost efficiency. There are three basic types of EIDs: in-home displays (IHDs); dashboards; and mobile displays. IHDs are stand-alone hardware devices that range from simple pager-style readout systems to ultra-sophisticated touch-screen displays. Dashboards are currently mostly Web-based portals that show various aspects of home energy use—although future dashboards may move from the computer monitor to the TV set. Meanwhile, mobile EIDs are wireless smart phone versions of the dashboards.