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CEA Recommends Smart Grid Policies
May 26, 2011
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The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released a whitepaper recommending new policies to improve the way Americans understand and manage energy consumption. The whitepaper, written by CEA’s new Smart Grid Working Group calls for dynamic pricing programs and real-time consumption and pricing information to reduce energy usage and improve consumer awareness of consumption practices.

The paper, “Unlocking the Potential of the Smart Grid – A Regulatory Framework for the Consumer Domain of Smart Grid,” reports findings that show consumers don’t actively monitor their energy use and need economic incentives to do so. The CEA paper urges regulators, utilities, and consumers to coordinate in driving the creation of dynamic pricing programs and real-time consumption and pricing information.

"This whitepaper offers important recommendations to policymakers and stakeholders on how to best create a smart grid, which could reduce peak energy demand by 20 percent,” said Brian Markwalter, CEA senior vice president, research and standards. “These changes are necessary so consumer electronics manufacturers can create the innovative devices of tomorrow that will empower consumers to take control of their energy consumption.”

Current power prices are static and consumers can't access real-time consumption data. CEA said bringing market dynamics into play, in conjunction with providing consumers their energy consumption data, are crucial factors to smart grid development.

Smarter Appliances Are Coming

CEA noted that many consumer electronics (CE) companies are already launching products to enhance consumers interaction with their electricity use. Among them is LG, which is planning a line of smart appliances that allow consumers to program them to operate at times when energy demand and prices are low.

Christopher Johnson, senior manager of product standards & environmental compliance, LG Electronics USA, said that, despite industry strides in terms of technology to allow consumers to manage power consumption, "The smart grid infrastructure is critical." The CEA whitepaper's suggested regulatory reforms, he added, will help drive smart grid creation.

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