Energy Awareness Month
October 1st marked the beginning of energy awareness month. This marks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) getting together to discuss energy policy. The focus of energy awareness month is on clean energy projects and meeting the global demand for energy. Various events are planned for the month and, amongst other topics, the DOE plans to discuss the promise of the smart grid. One of the key attributes of a smart grid is smart technology, specifically technology that allows the grid to know exactly how much each system is using in real-time so that it can control that usage.
What are the benefits of being aware of your energy consumption, to know, in real-time, exactly how much you are using? In order to truly understand you have to know how the electricity market works. At peak demand times the amount of energy required may be higher than production. In order to meet this demand more expensive methods of production need to be used. This increased cost of production gets passed off to consumers in the form of peak demand charges. With real-time energy monitoring you can see these peaks and do something to stop them. By becoming aware of when equipment is turning on or cycling you can take action to stagger cycling times to reduce your peaks, thus eliminating the need to use the expensive production methods and reducing your charges.
Generally when describing a smart grid most references are made towards the utility and a promise for the future. What if smart technology existed today that could deliver a secure private smart grid for each consumer? The results would be significant, and in fact, such a system does exist. The Continuous Energy Management and Optimization (CEMO) system allows users to see their real-time energy consumption. Energy information is delivered on a secure web-based dashboard that allows users to cut back on their peaks and reduce their costs significantly. While most companies are worried about the utility knowing too much about their organization the CEMO system keeps all the information internal and is private to the company. The possibilities of having your own private and secure smart network are endless and current, not a future technology. With the CEMO system the smart grid of tomorrow is available today.