Smart-Grid Companies in ‘Feeding Frenzy’ Over Stimulus: “Preston says she would include technologies that improve transmission and that use power more efficiently, such as advanced sensors and meters, energy-management software for both the grid and for individual households and energy storage that could help make wind energy, for example, available when it is needed. Berst said other technologies that could be included might be technologies that shift the times that appliances use energy, so that — for instance — your water heater might start up before the morning peak and store hot water until you need it for your shower…”
[Seven or eight years ago I worked with NYSERDA on a test of smart meters. We were learning whether folks would adjust their energy use if the the “non-socialized” rate for electricity. (When demand is high, the price is higher for the the utilities but they “even it out” to charge a flattened rate.) Anyway, some of the upside of all this is that assuming that utilities follow through on some of the stuff we tested (signaling price shifts so that it was easier to make decisions, or better yet, make smart controllers for devices that either run automatically when demand is low (pool pumps at night is a classic example) or at least warning you when you turn on your dishwasher that if you can wait, it’ll be cheaper, etc. would be nice.
Further, smart meters require connectivity. It can be done in a drive by way as it is where population density is high (a truck drives triggering data dumps from the meters), but it would be better if they worked on increasing connectivity at the same time. Might provide some payback for people who just might wind up with higher utility bills.]