The Energy Game-Changer

Just two years ago, people would come up to Christopher Deutschen of Direct Energy and ask him what an energy company was doing at the Consumer Electronis Show (CES). Now, Deutschen more than belongs. He was a presenterat this year’s CES on a panel titled “Bringing the Smart Grid to the Smart Home.” Broadband’s role in Smart Grid technology has been a topic on NextGenWeb of late.

During his remarks, Deutschen stressed the importance of getting average consumers involved in energy conservation. And the best way to do this, he said, was to connect appliances they already own to a broadband network. He admitted that consumers would be unlikely to get involved in energy conservation if it was difficult or expensive. So what better way than to connect an appliance they already own to another thing they already own – a broadband connection. According to a recent Nielsen study reported on by CNET, of 195 million active Web users in the U.S, 160.3 million, or 93.3 percent, access the Web with a broadband connection, representing a 16 percent increase over 2008 figures.

Keith Donovan of Intamac, a company that delivers web-based platforms for the connected home, such as home security, energy management, and telecare, discussed the role that the Internet and broadband will play in delivering important information to consumers that will allow them to manage their energy consumption. Donovan stated, “The Internet is the best place to deliver the kind of services that allow consumers the right amount of control.”

Though the panel included presenters with very different associations to the energy industry, they all echoed the same sentiment. Integrating home appliances and devices with their broadband network can be a game-changer for consumers when it comes to energy conservation.

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