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Smart Grid Technology? Most of Us Don't Have a Clue

3/29/2011 4:34:35 PM

Tags: smart grid, Whirlpool Corporation, Habitat for Humanity International, energy efficiency, energy-efficient technology, Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailSmart grid technology lets every home become a power generator as well as a power consumer by measuring the power flowing both directions and compensating customers for their contribution. Through the smart grid, consumers can monitor and tailor their usage to be more efficient. That does seem smart.

A recent survey, however, found that only 43 percent of Americans know what smart grid technology is, and of those, 70 percent don’t really understand how it works. The survey, conducted on behalf of Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International by the NAHB Research Center, also found that only 35 percent of the respondents believe their community somewhat understands smart grid technology and 46 percent don’t think their community understands the technology at all. Those who are aware of smart grid technology have learned about it from the internet (51 percent), television/radio (46 percent) and magazines/periodicals (28 percent).

"These survey findings suggest that there needs to be greater emphasis on smart grid education among all of us, which would encourage more green building," said Warwick Stirling, global director of energy and sustainability for Whirlpool Corporation, which has committed to make all of its appliances smart grid-compatible by the end of 2015.

In January, a 2011 State of the Consumer Report released by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) found that emphasizing cost savings and educating consumers were imperative for the smart grid to take off. Consumers want tangible benefits such as energy and cost savings, reliability, and the ability to pick and choose technologies and pricing schemes.

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4/10/2012 11:05:31 AM
There's gotta be a fortune to be made manufacturing tin foil hats....Smart meters emit a tiny RADIO frequency signal, so weak it poops out after about 60 ft. You're being bombarded with radio waves all the time: from the sun, from radio stations, AM- FM -Short Wave -TV etc. ..Radio waves are a part of the electromagnetic wave spectrum. Other parts include heat, light and x-rays. DNA is not "tuned" to radio waves, so it isn't affected by them- kinda like glass reflects heat waves but lets light waves pass right thru.

Melissa Scott
12/2/2011 10:07:20 PM
Due to "smart" meters I am HOMELESS and suffering from radiation sickness. These meters pulse radiation which endangers 100% of us because it breaks DNA which will lead to widespread cancer in the future. 35% are already experiencing insomnia, mood disorders, ringing in the ears, and other health symptoms. 3% (like me) either die, life becomes a medical nightmare, or they have to leave their homes and find a place to live where there are no wireless utility meters. FIGHT "smart" meters for your lives!,,

M. Hertz
12/2/2011 1:52:55 PM
Dear Ms. Griggs Lawrence, I have been following your work for many years. I especially loved your Wabi Sabi Home book. This time however, I am in complete disagreement with you. The "smart" grid is yet one more ill planned and dangerous corporate blunder. "Smart" and AMR (automatic reading) digital utility electric, water and gas meters, emit and transmit pulsing and dangerous levels of radiation. People are being injured by the radiation emissions from these meters where ever they are being "deployed". Please see,,

Melissa Levine
12/2/2011 3:27:25 AM
I wonder if the author is aware that the whirlpool appliances that are going to be smart-grid compatible will also contain RF transmitters which emit radiation--which the World Health Organization declared last May as a possible class 2B carcinogenic. That doesn't seem so smart to me.

George J
7/16/2011 5:44:16 PM
There needs to be greater emphasis on smart grid education in the world. This will encourage more green building in the world, Same thing applies to automobiles.

3/30/2011 5:59:30 PM
Disclosure: I'm a utility worker. What you described as Smart Grid is actually Net Metering. For decades, utilities handled Net Metering with simple mechanical meters, and today we can program an electronic meter to record and display power received and power generated. This in itself isn't considered part of a Smart Grid. Smart Grid is something different, more buzzword than true innovation, I'm sad to say. Utilities long ago accomplished many Smart Grid goals through System Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Load Management. The only significant change is finer data detail and incorporating automated meter reading with customer feed back. Some visionaries extend this to the appliance level.

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