Verizon takes covers off its home monitoring service

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) finally revealed that it will soon launch a trial of its long-awaited home energy and security service during the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The Home Monitoring and Control service trial, which Verizon says it will begin in its New Jersey market, will eventually be offered throughout its entire 10-state footprint.

Consumers that take part in the trial will be offered two starter kits that are focused on home security and energy management. Hassane Bouhia, group manager at Verizon Broadband Solutions, told CNET that it will charge a "nominal" fee for the service.

Verizon's home energy service will enable consumers to get information on their home energy usage and establish presence modes, including "home," "away" or "night," for example. The portal will be able to be accessed through the TV set, smartphone or from the PC.  

Of course, the new service will require the consumer to buy Z-wave-enabled devices such as a wireless thermostat, Z-Wave to WiFi gateway and a dongle that enables consumers to control a plugged-in appliance.

Verizon's movement into this market shouldn't be all that surprising given its recent moves to not only make an investment in home automation company 4Home, now owned by Motorola, but also the development of a joint study with the Utilities Telecommunications Council (UTC) to better understand the telecom needs of utilities. While Verizon's aggressive movement into the home energy and automation market could serve as a promising example for other broadband providers to make such a move, it will require the electric utilities and telcos to establish a strong a new working relationship between one another.

- CNET has this article

Related articles:
FierceTelecom's 2011 Predictions: Utilities, telcos will continue to align
Verizon invests in home automation company 4Home
Motorola Mobility acquires 4Home; FTC proposes 'do not track' concept to foil Web marketers
Verizon's Q2 wireline losses offset by broadband, business service gains
MoCA, HomePlug Alliance to compare notes