TVs, ACs, as well as most other equipment nowadays are more efficient than they were years ago, and they continue to get more efficient. There are more solar connected to the grid now than ever, batteries are spreading as well, yet in certain areas the load continues to grow. We are mainly concerned with summer months because of the increased load as a result of the wide use of ACs; however the “mini-load” is on the rise as well.
By “mini-load”, I am referring to new gadgets that did not exist before, and do not consume a lot of electricity. Let’s address a few of them:
The Apple watch
Even though I ordered mine a few hours after the watches were made available online, yet I had to wait six weeks, since they were sold out almost instantly. I charge my watch once a day for few hours when I return home at night, which most likely is coincident with the time the substation that feeds my house peaks as well.
Everyone wear headphones; the difference is that we are now using fancy Bluetooth headphones that also get charged every night or so.
Adding on top of that charging your cell phones (most of us now have more than one cell phone), tablets (iPads, etc.: both of my daughters do not eat unless they are watching their Ipads, as a result both iPads get charged at night; also coincident with the substation peak) and laptops (similar to cell phones, we all have at least two laptops that we are charging overnight). So basically every night (coincident with the substation peak) including summer peak days, we charge multiple gadgets that were never part of the grid few years ago; also, since the prices are dropping, we are owing a lot more, two cell phones, two laptops, Ipads, smart watches, etc. not including our work gadgets that we also charge.
The reason we did not see a huge increase in load as a result of the above gadgets is that they are efficient; having said that when you multiply the above gadgets by the number of people in the utility’s territory, the loads will start creeping up. The smart glasses were not successful so far; however, future models may attract people, which will result in more load as well.