September 28, 2010 - Hitachi Ltd. and Panasonic Corp. will team up in developing smart-grid systems that will make homes more energy efficient, the companies said.

By leveraging each other's strengths--Hitachi's control technology for power grids and Panasonic's home energy-saving technology--the companies seek to establish a common protocol for data communications between power grids and households.

They plan to sell their smart-grid systems for urban development projects in emerging countries and other parts of the world.

Hitachi sells systems capable of controlling power grids, including those involving solar and wind power, depending on demand at the receiving end, such as condominiums and electric vehicle recharging stations.

The Panasonic group is a leading manufacturer of power distribution boards for homes. Its products include a system that uses a television to display a reading of the power used in each room or by each appliance, as well as an energy-saving system that automatically turns off lighting and air conditioning when a room is vacated.

Hitachi, which will participate in a project to create an environmentally friendly community in the Chinese city of Tianjin, is considering proposing a system developed with Panasonic.