Good Jobs, Green Jobs- Smart grids

I'm spending the week in DC at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs conference. It's hosted by the BlueGreen Alliance an organization working to bring together labor unions and environmentalists. The alliance is helping to transform our economy by promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass transit etc... All in an effort to create jobs for working Americans and at the same time reverse the effects of global warming.

Yesterday, I was able to sit in on a great seminar about smartgrid technology. NC State Senator Jo Sam Queen was on the panel and members of the NC Communication Workers of America also attended. Basically a smart grid relies on the expansion of broadband services across the country. Yet at this basic level the U.S. faces a big challenge. Currently in the U.S. 100 million people don't have broadband and over 14 million couldn't even if they wanted to. Those stats make us 15th in the world, behind South Korea, Japan and others. If you look at this from an economic perspective it's a great opportunity to create thousands of jobs, while at the same time creating a network that advances the medical, education and energy fields.

What I want to focus on is smart meters and how individuals can potentially manage their own power consumption. In today's world we turn the lights on, crank the AC and never really know how that decision is affecting our electric bill. With a smart meter we would be able to see exactly how we are consuming energy. You could potentially pull out your iphone and see exactly how much your spending on your AC or on that big flat screen TV. This knowledge empowers the average citizen and provides them with financial incentives to purchase more energy efficient appliances or simply decrease their energy use.

Studies have shown that consumers who track their energy consumption in real time save 5 to 15 percent or $60 to $180 per year. Smart meters would also enable dynamic pricing, this would allow home owners the opportunity to reduce their energy consumption during peak hours, save money and create a more reliable grid. If just half of American households cut their demand by 10 percent we could offset the C02 emissions of eight million cars. As Senator Queen said all we need is "a shot-gun wedding between utilities and the networking industry."

More to come from Green Jobs Good Jobs.


  1. There are many varied reasons for the utilities to upgrade the grid infrastructure and it will happen. But what is even more powerful is we know that consumers are becoming more interested and engaged in their electricity consumption. It’s a big budget line item and for a long time we have just accepted and paid it each and every month. We really see consumers getting much more interested in becoming more active in managing electricity consumption and taking steps to drive it down. $’s and cents are the primary motivator but there is also a great deal of satisfaction taken for doing the right thing and making a difference.

    What we know definitively is access to better information – real time information can make a huge difference in reducing electricity consumption. There are many academic, utility sponsored and manufacturer sponsored research studies and the general conclusion is just better information alone can reduce consumption by 5-15%. For a family spending $100 - $250 per month on electricity that’s a big deal. The aggregated potential impact from millions of homes reducing their consumption by 5-15% is huge for the economy and the environment.

    The utilities will bring solutions to the market……but there are proven energy monitoring options on the market today. For as little as $100 families can gain access to this real time information today and begin to take control of this important issue and important monthly budget item.

    We have been in the business of real time electricity information since 2003 and it’s gratifying to see this momentum. For more information go to http://www.bluelineinnovations.com.

  2. Interesting... I was searching this info for my uncle. He will be happy for such a great info. Thanks for sharing...