Imagine sitting at home and perusing your smart phone for the good, cheap energy deals of the day. Perhaps fossil fuels are not a good buy on this day, but solar is a steal! And imagine that all you would have to do is send in your order to the utility company with the press of a button. Not only would you be a smart shopper, but you would also be a person who is lessening the impact of carbon-based pollution on our environment.
Based on developing trends, such transactions may soon be here thanks to smart technology.
Smart grids, information and energy
In this future, information and energy will merge to create a smart power supply system. Smart grids will service homes equipped with smart meters that will manage smart appliances within the home. This two-way information exchange will allow homeowners to monitor when and where they get their energy and at what prices.
Since energy, like any commodity, fluctuates in availability and price, smart meters will give energy managers the ability to buy power when demand is low and prices are inexpensive. But another beneficial aspect of the smart grid will be an increased opportunity for energy consumers to take advantage of renewable power sources like solar and wind. Since these green forms of energy tend to be less stable in price and availability, smart technology, because of its ability to monitor rates minute by minute, will allow for their practical use as alternative power sources on the grid.
Can’t be bothered with such minutiae, you say? No problem! Your local utility will be able to do it all for you! The smart grid will allow them to monitor your appliances and run them when rates are low. If this is too close to Big Brother for your taste, then smart appliances can always be programmed to run only when electricity is cheapest.
Smart grid technology will not only prevent regional overloads and even out supply, it will also give energy consumers more options and provide a new level of transparency between utilities and their customers. So brush up on your alternative fuel vocabulary! Energy shopping may be the next big thing!