Live in Southern California? If so, Southern California Edison (SCE) would like to provide you with an experience in smart energy. The SCE Smart Energy Experience is a 2,260 exhibit space in Irwindale, CA, designed to look like a typical Southern California home, with a special green twist.
The Smart Energy Experience includes a full kitchen with smart, energy-efficient appliances, a living room with a smart thermostat, laundry area and garage with a plug-in electric vehicle. The residence also comes equipped with a home area network which demonstrates how smart appliances can work with a home’s electric meter through secure, two-way wireless communications. Visitors can check out smart devices that monitor real-time power usage, allowing for homeowners to spot immediate increases and decreases in power usage when certain appliances are turned on or off.
All of this, of course, is to introduce customers to “the progress SCE is making in developing new technologies to build a smart grid,” as well as to demonstrate new, energy efficient devices, smart appliances that communicate with a smart meter through that home area network, a working reality of a plug-in garage, and the online tools that (hopefully, someday soon) will help us all get a handle on our energy usage at home.
An exhibit of this type makes sense, in more than one way. First, because smart grid technologies are rapidly being deployed all over the country, due to increased efficiency demands at the state level as well as federal incentives through the Department of Energy, as funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Second, because a recent study reported that Americans are largely in the dark about smart grid technologies and their benefits.
“The Smart Energy Experience is a hands-on exhibit that will enable our customers to learn about the new tools and technologies that we are developing and introducing,” said John R. Fielder, president of SCE, in a statement. “We look forward to providing our customers with additional information and knowledge that will enable them to make choices that will help them save energy, money and the environment.”