Blog // Connect South Carolina

Smart Energy Technology

By CSC Staff

As electricity rates rise and winter temperatures drop, more consumers are finding themselves staring questioningly at the numbers on their monthly utility bills while contemplating ways to reduce them. Today, smart energy technology allows thousands of people around the country to closely monitor their power consumption so that they can more actively conserve energy in their homes and reduce their monthly bills.

With 20 or more power companies in the state offering free mobile applications or Web portals with energy tracking and comparison tools for customers to analyze and balance their own power usage, and another 13 with plans to do the same in the near future, Minnesota in particular is emerging as a leading market for this advanced, evolving technology.

The way that these smart energy applications and web portals function is by collecting data as frequently as every fifteen minutes through advanced electric meters, known as smart meters, that are installed in the consumers’ homes. Customers can then access their data through their power company’s website to track their power use and observe their consumption patterns.

Some individuals are reluctant to believe that monitoring energy consumption can be more effective than simply reducing power usage by replacing energy-guzzling appliances with more efficient ones. Yet many power companies foresee that smart energy technology will reinforce established conservation methods, while lowering peak demand.

Below is an excerpt from a Star Tribune article that examines the benefits of smart energy technology:

At a time of rising electricity rates, the technology promises ways to closely monitor power consumption and to reduce monthly bills.

At least 20 utilities in the state, mostly cooperatives or municipal power companies, are giving away mobile device apps or offering free Web portals with charts and comparison tools for customers to analyze their own power usage.

"It is a very cost-effective way to get savings," said Josh Headlee, CEO of Accelerated Innovations, a St. Paul company that developed MyMeter, a Web portal and mobile app used by 18 utilities in Minnesota and eight other states.

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