Residents and businesses in Kansas City, Kansas, are getting “smart-grid appliances” designed to help them better manage their energy and water use. They’re not...

Residents and businesses in Kansas City, Kansas, are getting “smart-grid appliances” designed to help them better manage their energy and water use.

They’re not the types of appliances we typically think about — dishwashers, dryers, coffee-makers, etc. — but a bundle of hardware and software put together in a partnership between IBM and smart-grid firm eMeter. Together, the two companies plan to deploy those appliances to help the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (KCBPU) “smarten up” some 69,000 electricity meters and 55,000 water meters in Wyandotte County.

The rollout began this September.

The eMeter Smart Grid Appliance uses IBM software to provide a packaged solution for utilities looking to upgrade and automate their services and relationships with customers. The bundle is aimed at helping utilities integrate their systems with smart meters and other advanced technologies, provide customers with a portal for tracking their energy use and costs, and manage meters for billing that can support time-of-use and dynamic pricing.

KCBPU is also working with Siemens, which is helping to implement eMeter’s Energy Engage customer web portal.

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