Toshiba Home Appliances Corp showcased "IT Power Measurement Unit," which is aimed at reducing power consumption at homes, as a reference exhibit. The unit was displayed at the "Green IT Pavilion," which the Green IT Promotion Council set up at the site of the Hokkaido Toyako Summit.
The unit is connected with power distribution boards at homes. Combined with the company's "Feminity" system, which allows remote control and safety management of home appliances, the IT Power Measurement Unit realizes the "visualization" of power consumption.
Specifically, the power measurement unit measures power used for each system and transmits the data to Toshiba Home Appliances' server using the "IT Home Gateway" communication terminal for Feminity. Users can check their current power consumption and cumulative power consumption by month, for example, on the company's "Feminity Club" Web service using PCs, digital TVs and mobile phones.
If power generation systems such as solar cell modules are connected, the state of power generation and power sales will be displayed as well.
Toshiba Home Appliances also introduced Feminity's "power-saving operation function," which halves power consumption, as a reference. The Feminity side can control the set temperature and the operation mode of an air conditioner, for example, to halve its power consumption, it said.
To use this function, users choose the "power-saving" button on the Feminity Club's menu screen and specify the appliances to operate in power-saving mode among those connected with the Feminity system.
The company plans to sell the IT Power Measurement Unit and the IT Home Gateway as a set.
"At homes where IH (induction heating) cooking heater systems are introduced as part of their reforms, for example, there are considerable needs for a system that allows users to confirm electric bills whenever they like," a company spokesperson said. "This measurement unit meets such needs as it can be added to the power distribution boards that are already installed."
The company is currently discussing details on display formats for electric bills, etc and services with power companies, it said. The measurement unit is slated to debut in the market within fiscal 2008, with pricing targeted at slightly more than ¥100,000 (US$930, price may vary depending on country). The IT Home Gateway is being sold at ¥98,000.