Farshid Arman has some peculiar habits. For example, the washing machine and the dishwasher in his home in Lafayette, California, have post-it notes on them that say, “Do not start before 9 p.m.!!” The reason for this stern reminder is that Arman’s electricity rates vary throughout the day, and prices are especially low after 9 p.m. His cost-consciousness isn’t always popular, however. For example, his son Aaron once came home before nine desperate to wash some clothes he had gotten dirty, and he therefore offered his father five dollars if he could do his laundry immediately. It was a tempting offer, but Arman stood firm.
Arman may soon be able to stop posting notes on his appliances . That’s because, as an expert for smart grid technology and renewable energy at the Siemens Technology-to-Business Center in Berkeley, California he – along with colleague Zack Derich from Siemens’ U.S. subsidiary eMeter – has developed a Web-based smartphone app for monitoring electricity consumption — and even gas and water use — almost in real time. Energy Engage Mobile is the name of the program, which was developed over a six-month period.in at eMeter. The program is actually a mobile version of eMeter’s Energy Engage Web portal, which is. already being used by several power suppliers in the U.S. to keep their grid customers continually informed about their electricity use. . Now, thanks to the new app, the service is available to customers who are on the move.