Digi Int’l Teams with AT&T for Energy Solutions

AT&T will partner with Digi International to deliver the Minnesota company's smart grid technology, which allows consumers, businesses, and utilities to monitor energy usage and adjust their consumption accordingly.

Minnetonka-based Digi International has partnered with telecom giant AT&T to offer a suite of products and services aimed at helping consumers and utilities manage energy usage.

AT&T recently announced that it plans to deliver the Minnesota company's Digi X-Grid solution over its wireless network, which connects more than 13 million electric meters. The Digi X-Grid is “smart grid” technology designed to give access to energy usage information and control of energy-using devices.

Smart grids connect meters, sensors, and monitors with wireless technology and software to allow customers and utilities to closely monitor energy use in real time and manage consumption or make repairs before an outage occurs.

Digi says that its system benefits consumers and businesses, as they can reduce power use and monthly costs with real-time monitoring of thermostats, electronics, meters, and other devices.

The system also allows customers to monitor and control individual appliances, tracking energy usage for everything from lamps to refrigerators to air conditioning units. Customers are alerted when consumption levels climb above normal levels.

Utilities benefit too, as they can use Digi X-Grid's load control features-which indicate when there are significant spikes in consumption. Consumers who have given their utility company permission to remotely turn off certain devices during such peak times can then receive credits and savings on their bills. (Minneapolis-based Xcel offers this type of program, and the company recently told Twin Cities Business that more and more customers have recently been opting in to the deal.)

“Digi is a leader in providing energy efficient services to consumers and business owners by delivering an open platform for device connectivity,” Larry Kraft, Digi's senior vice president of global marketing and sales, said in a statement. “Fueled by the strength of AT&T's network services, Digi X-Grid Solutions help consumers make eco-friendly and cost-effective energy decisions and allow energy providers to improve the performance, load management, and demand response capabilities of their smart grids.”

Digi is among Minnesota's 65-largest public companies based on its revenue, which totaled $165.9 million for the fiscal year that ended in September 2009. The company reported revenue of $182.5 million in its most recently completed fiscal year.