05. 20. 2006
Tracking the flow of household juices
Tony Blair announced that the UK will take bold steps to aggressively reduce their pollution output by undertaking a redesign of the current electric and gas grids. The heart of this proposed restructuring is a "smart meter" prototype by More Associates that will allow consumers to minutely monitor their energy use by appliance and wattage.
The consumer watchdog Energywatch is calling for an open standard in the devices to ensure that the marketplace is competitive, and that consumers may have their choice of energy providers in the future. As reported by BBC News earlier this week,
Energywatch's Jonathan Stearn says there is a direct link between smart meters and changes in people's behavior.
"When people can see how much energy and money they are saving when they switch off the TV rather than leaving it on standby, they immediately become more engaged in the whole issue of energy efficiency."
It's an interesting attack: Provide the consumers a way to save money, and they'll naturally conserve as much as possible. Energy can only be monitored if the usage numbers and costs are seen and understood. Learning what one kilowatt means in relation to an icebox setting will finally bring the realities of reckless energy use home.
It won't be long until we see all kinds of nice home monitoring tools hooked up and playing together to help us manage our households.