How Much Electricity Could Be Saved with Intelligent Efficiency Technology?

How Can We Use Intelligent Efficiency to Reduce Power Sector Emissions?

Energy Collective, May 16, 2015. Image credit: obsidianphotography

Just as technology can instantly connect us with people across the globe or monitor our calories and whether we’re burning enough of them, we have technology that will allow us to network and monitor how we produce, deliver and consume electricity.

Technology can improve energy efficiency in:

  • Generation: Network sensors and controls can increase the operational efficiency of power plants. Ravenswood, one of New York City’s largest power plants, was retrofitted with technologies from GE to optimize operations and increased output 5 percent using the same amount of fuel.
  • Distribution: An integrated system of smart meters, communication networks, and data management systems (also known advanced metering infrastructure) can improve efficiency. Dominion Virginia has installed 250,000 smart meters, cutting energy consumption 3 percent annually by delivering electricity at a more efficient voltage across the local network.
  • Usage: Advanced controls and energy management systems can minimize energy use in factories, offices and homes. Rudin Management, one of the largest privately-owned real estate companies in New York, developed a smart building management system that cut energy use 7 percent. Three recent studies found Nest smart thermostats could reduce consumer electricity bills 15 percent by scheduling energy use and using less of it.

Recent studies have suggested that intelligent efficiency could save up to 22 percent of electricity in just a few years.

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