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EnTouch Launches Energy Monitor with Remote Access

EnTouch Controls has launched the GM8 Universal Energy Monitor, which works with its EnTouch Energy Management System (pictured) to provide facility energy data for small business owners.

The GM8 monitors total business energy usage along with up to eight branch circuits, and provides energy consumption data wirelessly back to the EnTouch master controller. Multiple devices can be connected to provide additional monitoring points and the system can quickly scale to meet the needs of small and large facilities, EnTouch says.

Energy usage can also be monitored remotely through the EntouchGo web portal, enabling real time control and analysis of facility energy consumption.

The EnTouch EMS is targeted at small commercial businesses including restaurants, retail stores, service businesses, convenience stores and small offices. Introduced in early 2011, the EMS replaces existing thermostats in these facilities and uses a wireless network of HVAC controls and energy monitoring sensors to provide full control of HVAC and energy monitoring of main and branch circuits, the company says. The system is remotely accessible through the customer’s WiFi network, providing automation, data reporting and maintenance alerting features.

The system often pays for itself in less than 12 months, EnTouch says, and has shown users savings of 20 percent or more on energy bills.

Each GM8 features metering grade measurement of three phase input feeds and can support utility panels with voltage ratings from 120V to 480V and current ratings from 200 amps to 2,000 amps. The branch circuits can be configured to support single pole, double pole, and three pole feeds up to 200 amps. The sensor provides information on power quality data such as phase voltages, power factors, and harmonic content.

GM8 pricing starts at $250, and an installed EnTouch EMS system starts at $1,000.

In related news, smart grid company EnergyHub says it’s found that people use a thermostat’s programmable features more often when they can access those features from a PC or smartphone application. According to data from 100,000 customers who bought the company’s 3M-50 Filtrete Wi-Fi thermostat, 85 percent used the device’s scheduling features, Cnet reported. These features allow the thermostat to automatically turn the temperature up and down at set times.

But with most programmable thermostats, only about 10 percent of users create a schedule, Cnet said.

EnergyHub CEO Seth Frader-Thompson said the ability to change home temperature while out of the house is proving to be a big draw for products like his.

EnergyHub’s data also revealed that residents in states with cooler average temperatures are setting their thermostats lower in the winter than those living in warmer states. Average setpoints range from 63.4 degrees F in Vermont to 70.0 degrees in Oklahoma.

The company said the difference is probably explained by the potential savings available to residents in each state. Vermont has an average 7,746 heating degree days per year, while Texas has only 1,862.

If Vermonters set their thermostats to 69.9 degrees, like Texans, they would pay about $500 more per year.

Frader-Thompson has told GreenTech Media that home energy management companies need to offer a better than one-year ROI if they expect customers to pay the upfront costs.

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