Does Your Air Conditioner Increase your Electric Bill? Start to Save
Smart-Grid Technology Can Lower Your Air Conditioning Bill
In our last blog post we introduced the smart-grid and how it addresses some of the problems of the current grid infrastructure. The last point we made was that you might be paying for the high cost of “peak-demand” electricity even when you didn’t benefit from it at all.
However, with the smart-grid, the electric company will know that you were not using your electricity the day of the heat wave when wholesale energy prices went thru the roof. In fact you only used your air conditioner during non-peak hours or times when there was little demand for electricity. The cost of electricity during those non-peak hours is lower, and as a result your monthly bill will exactly reflect the true cost of electricity when you used it. Not only will the electric company know when you were using your air conditioner (and charge you accordingly), you will also be able to see the current energy pricing and decide whether or not you want to use more or less electricity. This will clearly provide major cost-savings to folks that use the pricing info the smart-grid provides them.
Some utilities are already working with appliance manufacturers to develop air conditioners, washing machines, etc. that will “talk” to the smart-grid. When there is peak-demand, appliances will go into a snooze mode (when possible). When there is drop in energy prices, like in the middle of the night, the smart-grid will inform the appliances that it’s an optimal time to “do the dishes”. Other systems will connect your HVAC to the smart-grid and will help regulate temperatures and timing based on energy costs. Additionally, if an appliance is malfunctioning and using too much energy, the smart-grid will pick up on this and inform you.
Of course, the environment also benefits in a big way. If people and businesses become more energy-efficient due to the smart-grid, the demand for energy will remain stable and there won’t be as much need to build more coal-burning power plants.
This all might sound like science-fiction, but several cities in the US are already involved in pilots with many of these smart-grid features.
Whether or not this is likely to be implemented here in Northern Ohio in the near-term, it’s clear that we are headed in that direction. Now is the time to begin your research and find out more about the smart-grid and energy-efficient appliances and HVAC systems. Are you looking to by a new energy-efficient air conditioner this spring? It may qualify for a tax credit. Download our Free Get the Facts document now.