Turning on a light switch is a simple act that masks a very complex system. That light is powered by the electric grid, the world’s largest machine, operating in real time. We are growing more and more dependent on electricity, but we often take this incredible machine for granted—until the power goes out, as can happen with extreme weather events. Ensuring grid reliability and preventing interruptions requires balancing electricity supply and demand.
Blockchain is generating a lot of buzz as a promising system to verify and track peer-to-peer transactions in the energy sector. It could have multiple applications although there is still debate about which, if any, will work well. What’s clear, however, is that companies are already exploring uses of blockchain to save energy. Let me tell you about three applications that show promise.
Puerto Rico experienced another island-wide blackout last week. Distributed energy resources such as combined heat and power (CHP) could help communities avoid or minimize some impacts of large-scale natural disasters including blackouts.
Extreme weather events and natural disasters such as bomb cyclones, forest fires, the polar vortex, and hurricanes are wreaking havoc on buildings, the electric grid, and other critical US infrastructure. Some communities are still struggling to rebuild from last year’s disasters, even as another hurricane season approaches.
Washington, D.C. — The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and efficiency organizations including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) have submitted a petition to the ENERGY STAR program to recognize the benefits of smart appliances and jump start the smart grid. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimates that implementing smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than four percent annually by 2030. Smart appliances can have an even more profound impact on reducing expensive peak demand.
Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) Issues 10 Orders Designed to Expand the Energy Efficiency Efforts of Utilities
On Friday, December 10, 2010, Arkansas became the first state in the Southeast to adopt a comprehensive set of policies on utility energy efficiency programs, including an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS). Arkansas is the twenty-sixth state to adopt an EERS. (Click here to learn about all state EERS policies.)
Major Home Appliance Efficiency Gains to Deliver Huge National Energy and Water Savings and Help to Jump Start the Smart Grid
Washington, D.C. — Home appliance manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates have agreed to improved efficiency standards and tax policies for refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers and room air conditioners.
ACEEE Study Finds “Smart Meters” Not Smart Enough to Slash Residential Power Use and Significantly Reduce Consumer Electric Bills
Washington, D.C. – Consumers could cut their household electricity use as much as 12 percent and save $35 billion or more over the next 20 years if U.S. utilities go beyond simple “smart meter” initiatives to include a wide range of energy-use feedback tools that get consumers more involved in the process of using less energy, according to a major new report from the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).