Today, most people are ill informed when it comes to energy
consumption and costs, paying the bill every month without
understanding what's included and how they are charged. This
would be like filling up your gas tank every week with the
gasoline price hidden, and not getting a bill until the end
of the month.
With smart grid technologies in the home—like
smart meters, smart energy panels, and smart appliances—consumers
can have access to more accurate data and knowledge
about electricity pricing, helping them save money and
lower their environmental footprint.
most power companies offer one set price for electricity
throughout the day, regardless of how expensive it is
to produce. Most consumers don't know that it costs
much more to produce energy during the peak hours of
the day—typically between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.—than
it does at any other time.
Once the smart meter is installed, it's possible for
the smart meter to communicate time-of-use
pricing via smart home energy panels to help consumers
make smarter energy choices throughout the day. Consumers
will be more likely to use high-consuming devices during
off-peak pricing periods, when electricity prices are
cheaper. With smart meters, buying electricity is like
buying other consumer goods—with price impacting
With this knowledge delivered
via this at-home "energy Internet", you will have the power
to make more informed decisions and manage your energy wisely—lowering
your carbon footprint without having to compromise your lifestyle
or comfort. Fear not — you won't have to sit and stare
at your energy monitor all day and run around turning appliances
on and off. You'll likely have the option to set preferences,
so price signals automatically trigger your smart home to
respond in financially and environmentally responsible ways.
For example, you may choose to have your house pre-cooled
before arriving home to ensure the air conditioning system
can remain off during expensive peak pricing hours, without
impacting your comfort level. You could also have your water
pre-heated to avoid peak prices and lower your energy bill.
A year-long study by the U.S. Department of Energy showed
that real-time pricing information provided by the smart meter
helped consumers reduce their electricity costs 10% on average
and their peak consumption by 15%.1
Smart meters can also enable consumers to pre-pay their electricity
bill and help utilities better detect and manage outages.
Smart meters coupled with advanced metering infrastructure
(AMI) will help pinpoint problems on the grid, allowing utilities
to determine exactly which customers are without power. Compare
this to today, when many utilities still wait for customer
calls to notify them of outages.
work with the smart meters to avoid peak-hour energy use and
top-tier pricing-without any negative impact on the consumer-by
adapting to price signals from the utility. Your dryer may
automatically switch from high heat to "fluff" if electricity
hits a certain per-kilowatt-hour rate—even if you're
at work. Or, the automatic defrost on your refrigerator can
delay itself even if you are across the country. If the freezer
delays the defrost cycle until after peak energy hours, consumers
pay less for the same amount of energy.
There are countless ways to conserve energy and save money
when smart appliances are coupled with smart meters and time-of-use