The move to a new Smart Energy System provides individual households and communities with the tools to take control of their own energy futures.
The Smart home is now a reality following the rapid technological developments, and convergence of the communications and IT sectors, providing the power to actively manage the many components that make up a Smart Home. The smart home will be actively connected to the wider energy system allowing householders to not only produce their own energy but to use it when they need it or sell it back to the grid when it is needed most. Homes currently challenge our energy system with big peaks in demand when we all come home in the evening. In the future our homes will actually support the wider energy system, through, smart appliances, heating and even electric vehicles, reducing demand at high use times as well as new storage technologies retain energy at times of excess and releasing it when needed. All this will be accessed through a simple phone application.
Perhaps the most exciting opportunity of smart homes is how they can work together as a community. Through communities working together local energy markets have the potential to allow up to 70% of our energy spend to be retained within the local economy. Energy will bring people together locally like the internet has brought people together globally. Innovative social energy models will be developed where communities themselves tackle challenging issues such as fuel poverty.
A smart home is however, not just about energy. A smart home will include technology that can ‘intuitively’ help us live, work and play for example. Our colleagues at Intellect have done a great job of summarising some of the challenges and opportunities we face as we get increasingly connected in our day to day lives.
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