Use of digital tools help conserve energy significantly


Monitoring your electricity bills by installing digital equipments in every home could well be a solution, but not an instant one for sure. Although according to a yearlong government study – Giving people the means to closely monitor and adjust their electricity use lowers their monthly bills and could significantly reduce the need to build new power plants. The results of the research project by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the Energy Department, released Wednesday, suggest that if households have digital tools to set temperature and price preferences, the peak loads on utility grids could be trimmed by up to 15 percent a year.

Over a 20-year period, this could save $70 billion on spending for power plants and infrastructure, and avoid the need to build the equivalent of 30 large coal-fired plants, say scientists at the federal laboratory. The demonstration project was as much a test of consumer behavior as it was of new technology. Scientists wanted to find out if the ability to monitor consumption constantly would cause people to save energy — just as studies have shown that people walk more if they wear pedometers to count their steps.

Government always think of a long term prospective, but in today’s world we look for alternatives which gives us instant results and making the utility bill readable could well be the answer. Most bills are so convoluted; people only pay attention to the total. If they understood how their bill is broken down and how it compares to previous months and years, then people might conserve more. Making the bill readable is certainly a lot cheaper than installing digital equipment in every home.

Via: NYTimes