Last week I attended a luncheon to learn more about Smart Grids. In case you don’t know what a smart grid is it is a way for consumers and suppliers to monitor energy demands and reduce cost by being more aware of usage.
I think smart grid system are an awesome tool to help save energy and cost. I think the electric companies have an uphill battle with gaining the trust of many of their consumers. Many people fear higher costs.
Here are the key points that were discussed -
Why we need the smart grid.
Address our aging infrastructure
- Approximately 60% of the current electric power grid will need to be replaced within the next 10 years.
- Our current electrical grid is built on an aging infrastructure. The average age of a substation transformer is 42, which is two more years than their expected life span.
Save consumers money
- In some recent studies, consumers have been able to reduce their monthly energy consumption by 10-15%.
- There were 41% more outages affecting 50,000 or more consumers in the second half of the 1990’s than in the first half of the decade.
- These outages and interruptions cost Americans $150 billion annually – or $500 for each one of us.
- Increasing energy efficiency, renewable energy and distributed generation would save an estimated $36 billion annually.
- The Norman, OK school district saved $15,000 in just two months after implementing smart grid technology.
- Smart grid technology will reduce the need to build more fossil-fueled power plants while encouraging the use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. This will also lessen our dependence on foreign oil.
- Implementation of the smart grid would reduce carbon from electrical power by 25% or roughly 10% of overall US CO2 emissions. This savings is estimated to have the same impact as removing 140 million cars from the road.
How smart grid technology allows you to take control of your energy consumption.
The smart grid empowers you by making the energy you use and the price you pay for it more transparent.
- The smart grid and smart meters show you how much energy you are using in your home from, day to day, and what it costs you.
- Because energy prices vary considerably during the day because of changing demand, you will soon be able to see the least expensive times to run your appliances, such as washers and dishwashers, which will mean significant financial savings.
The current and future tools of the smart grid technology.
- You will soon be able to receive alerts via text, email, and telephone call as you move through the energy tiers towards higher costs for electricity.
- Smart meter technology will alert your utility company in the case of a power outage so they can restore your power faster.
- In the future you will be able to control the energy usage of the appliances in your home through chips connected to your home area network.
Learn more about Smart Grids here
I wrote this post after attending an informational luncheon on behalf of Silver Spring Networks and Mom Central Consulting and received a gift bag and gift card as a thank you for taking the time to participate.