Photo credit: Chai Energy
By now, everyone has heard of the “smart home.” Just in case you missed out on this buzzword, a home is considered “smart” if it is connected to the internet. This usually means that the appliances within a home are all wirelessly gathering data online via your Wi-Fi. They can then convert this data stream into useful information for you to use (i.e. your oven telling you the best temperature to cook a pizza). There is another interesting perk about smart home connectivity (the list keeps growing) that has just recently come to light. Through the power of smartphone apps, users can now gain information about and control certain smart appliances while they are away from their house. What is even more interesting, is that when these appliances are also connected to smart energy meters via Wi-Fi (there are about 52 million installed in the U.S. residential sector), the exact amount of energy that each one is consuming can be sent right to your phone in real-time. How can this data help the consumer in ways that traditional utility-provided energy consumption information doesn’t? What consumer-based smart energy management platforms are pushing us into a new age of energy awareness?