Direct Energy

Direct Energy
e-Radio USA

e-Radio USA

July 14, 2009 08:01 ET

FM Radio Technology Enables Peak Electricity Demand Reduction

Direct Energy and e-Radio sign marketing and distribution agreement

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 14, 2009) - Across North America, utilities and government agencies are looking for innovative solutions that will reduce electricity demand during peak periods, keeping high-priced peak periods to a minimum, and offsetting the short-term need for additional investment in grid infrastructure or new generation capacity.

e-Radio's Utility Message Channel solution allows utilities, energy retailers, or government agencies to send alerts, messages and commands to smart grid-enabled devices and consumer appliances which instructs them to reduce their energy consumption and operate more efficiently. The notifications are sent to the home-based device/appliance through FM radio signals across a municipality or utility service area resulting in significantly reduced peak energy demand. The technology can also intervene on the consumer's behalf, cycling off appliances for set periods of time during those high-priced, high-demand peaks.

Direct Energy, one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services companies, has signed an agreement with e-Radio USA, Inc., an operator of wireless communications networks and manufacturer of FM receiver modules for "smart grid" devices, to market and distribute e-Radio's solution.

"Direct Energy believes that e-Radio delivers a demand-response solution utilities, retailers, and government agencies need to achieve their peak energy reduction goals," said Derek Matthews, Director, Direct Energy. "e-Radio's solution provides the required reliability and coverage at a cost far below other communication infrastructure solutions."

Direct Energy and e-Radio have worked together since 2007 executing pilots and programs in California, Texas and Ontario. In Texas, Direct Energy's affiliate, CPL Retail Energy, has launched a first-in-kind demand-response and energy efficiency pilot program for residential customers. The pilot, which marries residential demand-response through the cycling of air conditioning systems with whole-home energy efficiency measures, leverages the e-Radio solution-enabled thermostats to achieve and measure peak period reductions.

"We are very pleased to extend our relationship with Direct Energy and look forward to widely deploying our technology solutions with their customers," said Jackson Wang, founder and CTO of e-Radio. "We believe we are only at the beginning of the opportunity to use smart devices to more efficiently manage energy needs. Our vision is to integrate our solutions into more devices, appliances and electric vehicles to enable a wider range of energy savings programs."

e-Radio partners with manufacturers of smart grid devices such as thermostats, in-home displays, load controls and appliances, and has established pilot programs with several utility companies in addition to Direct Energy.

About e-Radio USA

e-Radio, USA, Inc. provides a complete smart-grid communications solution focused on residential demand management programs to utility companies and their customers. The company designs and manufactures receiver modules that are inserted into a variety of smart grid devices and appliances. e-Radio's software solution enables the secure one-way delivery of data content to receiver devices via a network of existing FCC licensed FM radio subcarrier broadcasting signals. Its technology is based on the RDS subcarrier frequencies of FM radio stations and is consistent with global standards established approximately 25 years ago. For additional information, see www.e-radiousa.com.

About Direct Energy

Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with over five million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE:CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 21 states plus DC and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit www.directenergy.com.

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