Energy Select's Gateway—the great communicator!
"Gulf Power is one of the more forward-looking utilities in the nation and its decision to upgrade the Energy Select program is an important step to realizing the potential of the smart grid."
R. Blake Young, President and CEO, Comverge. "Gulf Power Extends Partnership with Comverge to Expand Nation's Largest Residential Dynamic Pricing Program." Comverge (2012): Web. 30 Jan. 2012.
Communicating your program settings
The communications gateway is the third element of Energy Select. The communications gateway is a small device that connects to your Internet router/modem. The gateway facilitates communication among the equipment in your home (thermostat and appliance control) as well as the exchange of data between your home and Gulf Power.
The communications that happen between the gateway, thermostat, your cooling and heating system, electric water heater, pool pump and the Energy Select web portal make-up what is called a home area network (HAN). These devices communicate regularly via radio frequency, so that your programmed settings can be carried out automatically.
The broad range of communications that happen between your home and Gulf Power is what is commonly referred to as a Wide Area Network (WAN). A WAN is a telecommunications network that covers a large area. By using your home's broadband Internet connection, the unique Energy Select gateway directs the communications within your home, receiving pricing signals from Gulf Power and coordinating the programming of your central cooling and heating system, water heater and pool pump. Your meter will continue to collect all of your usage, but it will be programmed to keep that usage in separate tiers, based on the price period in effect. This data is routinely sent from your meter to Gulf Power, via the WAN, to generate your bill.
It is necessary that broadband Internet service is maintained once the Energy Select system is installed; otherwise, the system will be unable to communicate and could result in higher than expected energy bills.