The company claims that the new breaker, dubbed Emax 2, is the first low-voltage circuit breaker with integrated energy management functions.

ABB said the new breaker can save energy equivalent to the electric consumption of 1.4 million European households and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 4 million tons.

By using Emax 2, a power reduction of about 15% can be achieved for an individual building installation.

Emax 2 features a protection trip relay with a power controller, which will measure and calculate energy consumption.

The power controller will also manage the loads to maintain or reduce the peak power usage as determined by the user, in order to prevent blackouts.

Emax 2 features a communication module, which will enable it to share important consumption and system reliability data directly with smart grid and other protocols.

ABB head of low voltage products division Tarak Mehta said that breakers provide one of the largest untapped opportunities in the electric system to achieve energy savings.

"Breakers have been used to increase safety and protect electric circuits, but now for the first time we use them to save energy too," Mehta added.