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The future of energy looks smart

(NC)—With memories of catastrophic summer blackouts and fresh threats of rolling brownouts ahead, Canadians have never paid closer attention to how and when they should use energy, and they are looking for new ways to manage energy in their homes.

In fact, an IBM study found that over 90 per cent of consumers want smart tools for managing their energy usage, and more than 40 per cent are seeking new ways to interact with their utility company.

How will the marketplace respond to this growing demand for more control in the hands of consumers?

Over the next five years, IBM predicts that consumers will have access to intelligent tools that will put the control back into their own hands. A few things on the horizon:

• Smart meters – Consumers will be able to map their daily energy use to take advantage of lower off-peak rates; they will be able to control their home energy consumption remotely, from a work PC or smart phone.

• Smart billing – Rather than providing only the total amount of energy consumed over a month, smart bills will detail precisely when energy was used, enabling them to modify behaviour.

• Smart Insights – Consumers will be able to see in real time where their biggest energy hogs are, and which appliances are power-suckers and need to be replaced with energy efficient models.

In the near future consumers will have the detailed information they need to make smarter decisions related to their energy usage, and in the process they will be able to reduce their environmental impact.

You can find out more about the energy of the future online at www.asmarterplanet.com.

N.C.    7/15/2009


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