Lowering the peak

Turns out that one of the major factors in optimizing energy consumption is not just how much electricity is used, but when it is used. Two studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory demonstrated that residential customers were able to reduce peak demand on the power grid when they monitored real-time price signals or had smart appliances installed that limited energy drawn during periods of heavy use. Reducing peak demand eliminates the need to increase capacity through construction of additional power plants and transmission lines and saved study participants an average of 10 percent on their energy bills. That means fewer brownouts and more money in your pocket.