Realizing the Energy Efficiency Potential of Smart Grid
Smart grid and smart meter systems that integrate energy efficiency as a central goal will have a great potential to reap rewards for consumers. This white paper considers the importance of energy efficiency in smart grid and smart metering programs and recommends that EE be a central part of smart grid program planning.
ABSTRACT: Smart grid systems can provide significant opportunities for both consumers and utilities to save energy. Data provided by smart meters allows consumers to better understand their own energy use, helping them identify energy saving opportunities. Utilities and third-party energy service providers may provide critical assistance in realizing these opportunities. For utilities, a better understanding of the status of the electrical grid at a second-by-second level allows the grid to be operated at much tighter tolerances, resulting in greater efficiencies and reliability. Consumer demand response activities enabled by a smart grid can improve grid efficiency as well, reducing grid congestion during peak periods. Additionally, a smart grid could help improve transportation efficiency by facilitating charging of plug-in electric vehicles.
Intelligently planned smart grid and smart meter systems that integrate energy efficiency and conservation as central goals will have a great potential to reap rewards for consumers. But if poorly executed without active attention to energy efficiency and net demand reductions, the potential energy saving benefits of smart grid systems could be missed. Issues of data access and ownership, privacy and liability, interoperability, and full system deployment must be addressed in order to achieve the potential benefits. As consumer acceptance is key to smart meter program success, reduced energy bills enabled by smart technologies can foster the needed good will.