Puget Sound Energy in Washington will soon begin testing a web-based system for controlling home energy use that could help eliminate the need for new power stations in the region. Some 200 homes in the Kent area will be outfitted with devices that allow residents to control their furnaces and water heaters while they are away from home. Together, space and water heating are the largest energy users in a home. Puget Sound Energy has equipped about half of its 1.3 million meters with two-way wireless communications links that make it possible to send commands through the Internet to a home’s electric or gas meter; links should be installed on the rest of the meters by 2001.