Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Smart energy use - Calico Energy Services of Woodinville

I like people who create new ways to save energy or to get more use out of the same amount. Here is a Seattle-area company helping electric utilities and their customers. Seattle Times ... Shocking increase: Consumer demand for electricity has increased. On a parallel track, the slow economy has people looking for ways to save. Calico offers the ability to monitor electric usage and shut it down when it isn't needed. Static behavior: The Calico system takes advantage of the "smart grid," where energy supplies are allocated to the areas of greatest need at peak usage times. Where a large office building needs air conditioning on a hot day, a house may not. Calico makes it possible for utilities to let customers purchase electricity at a cheaper rate if they, for example, defer doing the laundry on a hot afternoon.

Use it or lose it: The need to balance usage levels comes from a system in which electricity must be used shortly after it's generated. The development of more efficient storage systems could change this. "We need to take advantage of the supply of electricity and use it more efficiently," Dawson said. ...

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