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Those who opposed the digital “smart meters” installed over the last few years by San Diego Gas & Electric may soon have a new technology to worry about: a real-time monitoring device that measures the power draw off every circuit in a home.

The utility announced yesterday (August 20) that it will partner with the Pecan Street Research Institute out of the University of Texas, Austin, to install between 30 and 50 “energy data routers” on the circuit panels of volunteers residing in the new Civita housing development in Mission Valley.

“This research will take smart grid technology to a new level by providing among the most detailed energy usage data to customers through technology that is not even on the market yet,” said John Sowers, SDG&E vice president for generation and resource planning, via a release.

Program volunteers will get access to a website and mobile app that provides information on their home’s energy use “down to the appliance and circuit level as well as information on appliance, rooftop solar panel and home energy performance.”

The research project will begin this month and last for at least several months, possibly longer. No word was given on any expansion plans locally, but Pecan Street already has similar devices in operation in about a thousand Texas homes and will soon branch into Colorado as well.

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