Ubi-PowerMeter A Novel Paradigm to Reduce Energy Consumption

Energy problem is becoming one of the toughest issues nowadays. In order to meet the increased demands regarding energy awareness, we have been developing a new way of representing and interacting with energy in electric products, specifically home appliances. The Ubi-PowerMeter is such a paradigm, which consists of hardware devices including smart meters and residential gateway, wireless communication based on ZigBee protocol, intelligent component to analyze gathered data, and interface design involving GSM module and the construction of web site. Using this full functional prototype, this paper also investigates the accuracy and stability of it, as well as the effect on reducing energy consumption.

Rapid advances in electronic revolution not only transform our modern life, but also enlarge the world’s appetite for energy, especially electricity. A strong motivation to meet the growing demands for energy is emerging recently. As a result, how to reduce energy consumption is becoming one of the hot spots for both industrial and academia. Various activities such as US’s national energy awareness month [1], ongoing planning which mainly concerns the energy aware in state of California [2] present the fact that energy efficiency begins with energy awareness. European experts believe that households with energy aware devices could use the information to reduce their energy consumption by up to 10% after they collected and analyzed a large amount of relevant data over past years [3]. A resource conservation competition was held in students’ dormitories in Oberlin College by its environmental studies, and the results of this investigation provided evidence that real-time resource feedback systems, when combined with education and an incentive, interest, motivate and empower college students to reduce resource use in dormitories [4]. Environment Change Institute in University of Oxford [5] also proves the benefit of detailed feedback on energy consumption of each domestic electrical appliance. Some further studies even figured out how and why improved feedback on electricity consumption could provide a tool for customers to control their consumption and ultimately save energy better, from the aspect of psychologica

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