There is a huge initiative among companies like Google, IBM, Cisco and so many other smaller smart grid players to make the grid more modernized using cutting edge digital technology and tackle environmental issues, cost reduction and energy conservation. The common smart grid devices that have invaded the market are smart meters, data concentrators, system monitoring software, etc. They help utilities oversee the precise location of electricity consumption and predict potential blackout areas. Home owners can also monitor more clearly where and how the electricity is being absorbed which will provide them with more leverage to effectively save on energy and reduce their carbon footprint in the bargain.
Toronto Canada based ZerofootPrint has come up with one such device compatible with smart grid technology that it calls the TalkingPlug. It is a lot like Google’s power meter in function but less cumbersome. Google’s home energy-monitoring software relies on meters, or add-on devices that can communicate usage information back to utilities. There are others in the markets that are add-ons to the vendors’ home network hardware. The talking plug idea so much more convenient as it does not require specialized installations of smart meter or a home energy display. It helps you keep a check on not only your power consumption but also compare it your neighbors. Yes, nothing like a little competition to make everyone go green with envy! But here it’s a good thing as green is where we want to go…It fits on all your standard electrical outlets and provides detailed information on electricity consumed by your appliances. The programmable plug is controlled by a wireless local area network (WLAN). It exposes errant appliances and energy sucking vampires in the home, sends a stream of information to a software program so residents can monitor or re-tailor their energy use, and turn things on and off remotely via the Internet or in person . Right now, the TalkingPlug is being custom produced, and each one costs about $50 but is expected to sell cheaper after the first year. ZerofootPrint CEO Ron Dembo says: “It will completely transform our world when plugs talk to each other and interact with each other.” Communication is definitely a good thing, in more ways than one!