1. Sustainability Problem: Residential energy consumption constitutes about 40% of total US energy consumption. Grids are programmed and operated based on the demand curves created by residential sector. If there can be a way to moderate the electricity demand depending on availability of load, at the user level, excellent energy savings can be achieved.
2. Technology to address the problem:
- Voice controlled smart speakers have become a common device in most households in the US, with companies like Amazon and Google expecting huge demands in the future.
- These devices are currently being used for basic entertainment purposes like playing music or listening to updates. However, they are capable of controlling other smart / IoT gadgets like refrigerators. However they can be used to control electrical dimmers.
- If the utilities can securely connect with the speakers and control variations in energy consumption, depending on grid variations, energy savings can be achieved at residential level.
3. Stakeholders involved: Home Users, Equipment Manufacturers, Utilities
4. Next Steps:
- Utilities need to partner with manufacturers like Amazon and Google to embed the necessary communication software.
- Home users need to be educated about the benefits and a program can be designed to incentivize them.
- Systems at grid level need to be upgraded.
5. Comment: on LED Street Lights (https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/10/05/energy-efficient-led-lighting-the-smart-way-to-light-up-the-city/comment-page-1/#comment-1140):
LED Street lights are currently being implemented in many developing countries. Large stretches of roads are being illuminated with control system based LED systems.