Italy firms, Electrolux work to cut home energy use

MILAN, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The world's second-biggest home appliances maker, Electrolux ELUXb.ST, and Italy's Enel, Indesit and Telecom Italia have joined forces to develop "smart" appliances to cut home energy use, they said on Friday.

Energy efficiency has become a priority in global efforts to fight climate change and helps consumers to cut energy bills.

Under the “Energy@Home” project, a system will be developed to make appliances adjust power consumption in an entire household to avoid consumption peaks and overloads, the companies said in a joint statement.

The system will be based on communication between the next generation household electric goods made by Electrolux and Indesit IND.MI, utility Enel's ENEI.MI infrastructure for remote control and management of power use and the fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure of Telecom Italia TLIT.MI.

The project, part of the development of the so-called “smart grids”, aims to create appliances that will be able to programme themselves according to power supply and prices and work during less expensive, non-peak hours of a day.

The system will also provide users with information about their household power consumption on their computer, cell phone or on a display onthe appliance itself.

The trial phase, due to end in 2010, will involve selected consumers in Italy. Then the companies will look into the possibility of attracting other partners “with the aim of creating the largest possible eco-system of interoperable companies.” (Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova, editing by Anthony Barker)