January 09, 2008
Global warming is a hot topic in today’s news. People are seeking ways to save energy and protect the environment. Reducing household energy consumption is one effective way to slow the trend toward global warming. Utilities have successfully implemented demand response programs for commercial and industrial consumers. Now more and more energy companies, such as San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Burbank Power and Water (BPW), are switching residential consumers’ old mechanical meters to new smart digital meters, in order to implement demand response programs in the residential sector (see “Developing Affordable Smart Thermostats,” p. 16). These smart meters connect the utility to the home over a network. They can help consumers monitor and control their energy consumption, and help utilities decrease peak demand, reducing the need to use or build more inefficient and dirty power plants that come online only to meet peak loads.
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