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The Energy@Home project has moved one step closer to being brought to market. According toa representativeof Telecom Italia, the platform is scheduled to undergo field testing in 100 homesover the coming months. The Italiantelecoms giant is working with two appliance manufacturers, Electrolux and Indesit Company, as well as Italy’s largest power company, Enel S.p.A. to develop the residential energy management solution which is reportedly a blend of four Zigbee standards – ZigBee Home Automation, ZigBee Smart Energy, ZigBee Telecom Services and ZigBee Gateway.

The platform will provide homeowners with information on their energy consumption and consists of the following devices that together, will create an interoperable Home Area Network (HAN):

- Zigbee-enabled ADSL gateway
- Smart appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and dryers
- Smart plugs to facilitate communications between appliances and the HAN
In addition to the aforementioned companies above, the Energy@Home consortium is backed by Freescale Semiconductor, which will integrate its MC13226 transceiver and i.MX28 application processor in the gateway as well as providing its considerable expertise in the smart grid, smart meter, appliances and networking sectors. Freescale is also a founding member of the Zigbee Alliance.

Telecom Italia briefly flirted with the home automation market back in 2009 when it partnered with BTicino to provide a solution in new houses. The agreement revealed that customers would be able to remotely control lighting, security and comfort of the home environment helping to optimize energy consumption.

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