The Intelligent Project is an Indiana company focusing on the consumer's use of energy. When consumers have feedback mechanisms showing:
- how much energy they use overall
- which appliances are using how much energy
- and at what times of the day
People driving a Prius, for example, use less gas because they see right on the screen how their driving affects gas usage.
"If we can save 5% of energy in the home throughout the U.S., we probably don't need to build any new coal-fired power plants for the next 20 years," said Purdue Professor Richard Feinberg, chare of the Intelligent Project's research advisory board.
Naturally, one of the company's key goals is to get a Smart Grid established for the United States. Smart Grid technology and its related Smart meters will be key in helping utilities balance demand, reduce expensive peak power use and provide a better deal for consumers by allowing them to see and respond to real-time pricing information through in-home displays, smart thermostats and appliances.
With 50 states and nearly as many state energy policies, the Smart Grid still seems mired in the realsm of fantasy; let's hope that we can get some traction on this in the new year. In the meantime, consumers who want to track their energy usage can buy a Wattson (but only if you live in these countries, none of which is the U.S.)