As part of efforts to stimulate the economy, focus has been put on more efficient energy use and the development of renewable energy. Integral to the future of better energy use — and lower prices — is what is known as a “smart grid.” And, to facilitate the advancement of a smart grid (or at least to be ready for it when it arrives) Google has created a special meter.
A smart grid involves updated energy infrastructure. This will facilitate better information about energy usage — as well as provide a way for customers to earn credits by feeding power into the grid when they use wind and solar energy from their own devices at home. DailyTech describes what Google’s new meter is expected to accomplish in terms of energy efficiency:
The service and others in the future may interface with the chips inside devices such as washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers to give users an ever-changing visual display of how much money it will cost to use the device at that particular time of the day. Electricity charges are tied to demand, something most consumers never pay much attention to when it comes to power usage. By using devices at times when demand is lower, users could potentially save a great deal of money, depending on their utility’s policies.
Of course, before a smart grid can be realized and function in this manner, we need smart appliances as well. Some companies are already working on this, and efforts aimed at economic stimulus also include funding for the development of such smart technology (which would also create jobs).
With the Obama Administration pushing renewable energy and smart energy technology, there are other opportunities in addition to saving money on your power bill: Investing in companies with a focus on alternative energy and smart technology could also pay off.
Miranda Marquit writes the for the Personal Finance Corner on AllBusiness.com.