Changing habits with a smarter grid

David Mohler (left) and Ted SchultzWe believe we can change energy habits, including our own, by deploying new energy-saving technologies. One promising technology available now is advanced metering — the replacement of the simple billing meter with one capable of two-way communication over our distribution grid. The day when all of our customers will be able to log in to our Web site and see their hourly energy use is not far off.

With our customers’ permission, these new meters would give us the ability to control high-energy-use appliances and equipment during peak demand times, without inconveniencing customers or business owners, who would also share in the savings.

Smart meters will also enhance our ability to measure and verify the impacts of our energy efficiency programs. This is critical for energy efficiency to become a reliable system resource for meeting customer demand for electricity. Remote metering over our network would also let us predict trouble, pinpoint outages and restore power faster. This solution should be more economical than paying for a new power plant, and most of the smart grid’s cost would be offset by the operational and power procurement savings.

Advanced metering is just one of the energy and cost-saving technologies we are exploring to change minds and habits.

 

DAVID MOHLER (LEFT) IS VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER AT DUKE ENERGY; TED SCHULTZ IS VICE PRESIDENT FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY. THEIR TEAMS ARE COMMITTED TO DEPLOYING THE BEST PRACTICES AND TECHNOLOGIES TO HELP OUR CUSTOMERS USE ENERGY MORE WISELY.