Silver Spring Networks has announced the availability of several new consumer empowerment solutions, including software, services and integrated partner devices. These offerings enable utilities to better manage energy demand and dramatically increase their customers’ awareness of their energy use, which in turn, helps them make wiser decisions about energy consumption.
“Consumer adoption of the Smart Grid is critical to the operation of our nation’s power system,” said Judy Lin, Chief Product Officer at Silver Spring Networks. “In the coming years, communicating devices, smart appliances and electric vehicles will create a significant impact on the power grid. This integrated solution enables utilities to engage customers in demand-management programs and give consumers actionable information to better manage their energy use. In the end, consumer empowerment enables a more efficient, reliable energy system.”
Improving customer awareness, connectivity, and choice translates into real savings, for both consumers and utilities. Studies have demonstrated that, when provided with real-time pricing information and incentives, consumers will reduce their energy consumption. For example, according to one study, consumers who participated in dynamic pricing programs decreased their peak energy consumption by as much as 20%. In addition, when consumers also used programmable communicating thermostats and air conditioning cycling switches, their peak energy consumption decreased by as much as 44%.
The savings can be substantial for utilities as well. Studies from The Brattle Group and FERC estimate that utilities can reduce capital infrastructure expenditures by $50-100 billion, eliminate the need to build approximately 80-100 traditional power plants and integrate about 100 GigaWatts of renewable generation.
The Silver Spring solutions include: