Anyone participated in any similar study, etc. as described below, installed or have a similar system, or just plain have a home automation opinion?
Any specifics I should keep in mind before formal agreement to participate in the program?
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) called me last night with an offer of 6 months free full house automation in return for a technical opinion and comments on the system. I personally know the power company engineer that referred me (as someone who would provide an honest opinion) and also have the name and corporate phone # of the contact person, so know this is not a scam.
It is also not a come on for purchase as only 15 households in the Puget Sound area will supposedly be included in this study.
The automation system is BeAtHome (beathome.com)that communicates over a carrier on the power lines – their web site looks good, but equipment looks like it may be pricey.
PSE would also provide 6 mo free ISP for connection to their pricing data base, and I’d be on a pilot minute by minute time of day pricing arrangement (like in parts of Germany, only PSE would NOT have control of my water heater, etc.)and we could program my power use preferences. PSE predicts that the cost of automation system with wide scale usage would be less than the cost of building another power plant or buying power on the open market.
So as to not mislead PSE as to my intentions at the end of 6 mo., told them that on a scale of 0-10 going from dirt cheap to spendthrift, we are a minus 2!, so likely would not buy any of the hardware or subscribe to future services with BeAtHome, and that was OK with them. (Our house is relatively automated now, albeit via 50 pair cable bus hardwire controls and numerous timers/switches, > 50 low volt relays and hundres of switches, never gotten around to PC intertie)
Andy: an afterthought – would FHB be interested in an article on this if I sign up for the pilot program? I’ll e-mail you when I get more specifics.