ThePlugwise Home Start Zigbee Wireless Energy Monitoring Kit, 2-Zone is a ZigBee communicating system that is designed to help users see the energy consumption of connected appliances and then cut down on wasted energy. The kit comes with 2 smart plugs, also referred to as “Circle’s”, which connect to a wall outlet and then simply connect the appliance for tracking by plugging it into the Circle. Data will then transmit over a ZigBee wireless network to a connected computer and provide usage information while also allowing for the creating of “switching schemes”. The switching schemes are periods of time in which a connected appliance is to be turned off as a result of noticing large amounts of energy usage during specific periods when the appliance is not actually being used. Once recognized, an event can be created that will automatically turn off power to the appliance for the decided upon amount of time and then turn it back on afterwards. It is important to note that a switching scheme can only control an appliance that is connected to a circle.
Creating switching schemes is a function that must be done via a computer that has the Plugwise installed software. The software is a free download using the license code that is included with the purchase of the Energy Monitoring Kit. System requirements for installing the source software are a computer with Windows XP/Vista/7, 30 MB of free disk space, 1 GB memory, 1 GHz processor, 64 MB graphics card and a valid internet connection. Upon downloading the software connect the USB flash drive (included) to your computer USB port to complete installation and launch the Plugwise network.