Smart Grid Technology: The Future of Energy Can Save You Thousands as a Consumer
Energy providers have been saying for years that the technology they use is outdated and costs homeowners and renters a lot of unnecessary money. Many people are skeptical of these statements, and think that the companies are just trying to find ways to increase their monthly bills. This debate has been going on for a while. Even the White House has gotten involved recently by launching a “Green Button Initiative” to upgrade the technology of providers and lessen the waste of energy usage by consumers. Enter Tendril Networks, a smart grid company that is trying to help the U.S. accomplish these initiatives.
What Tendril is trying to do is digitize real-time energy usage for consumers. They have developed technology that can tell consumers not only how much energy they are using, but when they are using it. They are convinced that if consumers could only see how much energy they waste in a day, they would take simple actions to save a lot of money.
In fact, Tendril recently conducted an experiment with simple energy and created a competition to see how much money households could save using smart grid technology. The results were amazing. The average savings per household was 20%. The winner of the competition actually saved 50% off of their energy bills. The reason for such a reduction: Tendril says it was because consumers could see when they were wasting energy. Consumers realized that they didn’t need their home to be at maximum heat or cool when they weren’t home. By varying the temperature based on when they were home, consumers were able to save an average of 20% off their bills. Tendril says that this technology would have the same effect to mainstream America if it were implemented and if consumers actively monitored their energy consumption. “A lot of energy is wasted in houses,” said Ken Dixon of Tendril Networks. The results appear to speak for themselves.
As for when this might be implemented, it really depends on many things. Cost is the biggest factor, as existing power grids must be replaced with the new smart grids. Who will pay for it is another question. How much of the cost to upgrade to the smart grid will be on consumers and how much will be subsidized by local, state and federal governments? Since many municipalities and states are broke, the burden of the upgrade will probably fall on the consumer. That means an increase in utility bills, which many consumers don’t want. Upgrading to the smart grids is a smart move, but it does have costs involved. When it will be implemented nationwide is anyone’s guess. We’ll have to wait and see.
What’s your take? Would you pay extra on your utility bills to make the switch to this system