by K.T. Weaver, SkyVision Solutions
I like the mention of “no-cost” ways to save energy since smart meters cost billions and billions of dollars to deploy and expose consumers and society to significant risks.
If you do have a smart meter, the industry rhetoric is that you can use the information from that smart meter to lower your energy bills.
Well, I don’t need a smart meter to save energy. If you perform any number of the actions listed below (courtesy of the Department of Energy), you will save energy and money. By reviewing your next monthly utility bill, you’ll get an idea of how much you saved.
How simple and easy can it be … and without the added costs and risks related to deploying billions of dollars in “smart” meters?
In fact, in pilot studies showing savings by having smart meters, what they actually do is provide you this (or similar) list of things to do to save energy and then later take credit for your actions as somehow related to the smart meter. (That’s cheating!)
Tips to Save Energy. … No Smart Meter Required
- Install a programmable thermostat to lower utility bills and manage your heating and cooling systems efficiently.
- Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
- Turn things off when you are not in the room such as lights, TVs, entertainment systems, and your computer and monitor.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use — TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
- Take short showers instead of baths and use low-flow showerheads for additional energy savings.
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
- Air dry clothes.
- Check to see that windows and doors are closed when heating or cooling your home.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Maybe you can think of other ways to save energy. It’s easy … and without a smart meter!
Of course, there is a point of diminishing returns, i.e., you may reach a point that you have reduced about as much as you can do without sacrificing your lifestyle and comfort. Again, this doesn’t depend on whether or not you have a smart meter.
In addition, the above tips are not much different than what the current Illinois Attorney General says about smart meters:
“The utilities want to experiment with expensive and unproven smart grid technology, yet all the risk for this experiment will lie with consumers. … The pitch is that smart meters will allow consumers to monitor their electrical usage, helping them to reduce consumption and save money. … Consumers don’t need to be forced to pay billions for so-called smart technology to know how to reduce their utility bills. We know to turn down the heat or air conditioning and shut off the lights.”
Source Material for this Article
“Energy Saver: Tips on Saving Money & Energy at Home; energysaver.gov; available at: DOE Energy Savers Guide
“Lisa Madigan Opinion Editorial: ComEd Experiment Too Expensive for Consumers,” at http://lisamadigan.org/Newsroom/lisainthenews/item/2011-06-lisa-madigan-opinion-editorial-comed-experiment-too