Smart phone. Smart meter. Smart grid. Seems like everything’s getting an intelligence boost these days. It’s easy to assume that smarter means better. Figuring out what makes these new technologies better than their predecessors, and how they will impact real individuals and families isn’t so simple.
We talk endlessly about the need to build a smarter grid, but aside from a few flashy technologies, few homeowners are well versed in what a smart grid looks like and how it will benefit their lives. To help clarify those important points, the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) recently released the below infographic. It highlights the savings potential of the smart grid and how that efficiency will translate to consumers.
The graphic is only one part of the SGCC’s quest to make the smart grid easier for people to understand and thus support. Its launch coincides with the release of downloadable guide [PDF] that breaks down the smart grid’s promise of a 9% increase of efficiency into easy to understand figures and examples ( i.e. 9 percent = 423 billion kilowatt hours/year = enough to power Las Vegas 207 times over). It also lists sources and studies used to find those figures–always important in these days of greenwashing and unsubstantiated claims.
“Using this visual, consumers can understand how a smart grid saves money and energy in one’s everyday life,” said Patty Durand, SGCC’s Executive Director.“By highlighting the conveniences and benefits the smart grid can bring to consumers, the SGCC and its members can help consumers understand the smart grid just as they understand other, consumer-friendly, ‘smart’ technologies they wouldn’t consider living without – such as a smart phone, computer or television.”