GE: Adoption of Smart Grid Appliances Is Up

by bkrigbaum@solagroup.com


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LOUISVILLE, Ky. —
November 17, 2009 —
 As
more Smart Grid programs move out of the proposal phase and into live pilot
testing, GE Consumer & Industrial‘s smart–grid enabled appliances are
leading the way for the consumer component of the grid, the company says. That
pace of adoption is expected to grow as more currently pending Federal grant
applications are approved.

 

“As all types of electric
utilities are looking for ways to make their grids more efficient, residential
electric use is an important part of their planning. When you consider the
overall energy use of a home, appliances account for about 85 percent, making
smart appliance technology very attractive to utilities as a way to shed load
during peak usage periods,” said Kevin Nolan, Vice President of Technology for
GE Consumer & Industrial. “Now that the stimulus grants have been awarded,
utilities are moving forward with their plans – both those that did and did not
receive funding.”

 

On November 4, Reliant Energy –
one of the largest competitive retail electric providers serving customers
across Texas
and GE agreed to a test of GE smart appliances as part of a home–based smart
energy program. Reliant will install a full set of GE‘s smart appliances –
refrigerator, dishwasher, range, microwave, front load washer and dryer and
hybrid water heater – in its Houston smart energy demonstration house. In
addition, the company will test how families use the appliances in the homes of
a several Reliant employees. Coupling the appliances with smart meters and
time–of–use pricing in real homes will give a much better picture of how
consumers across Texas will be able to manage their home energy
use in a way that makes sense for them. The effort is part of Reliant‘s Smart
Grid Investment project which was the only project proposed by a competitive
electricity retailer in Texas to be chosen by the Department of Energy for grant
funding.

 

The Vineyard Energy Project (VEP)
plans to negotiate a pilot project with GE‘s smart appliances on Martha‘s
Vineyard starting next year. David McGlinchey, the executive director of the
VEP, announced that 50 Vineyard homeowners plan to participate in the program.

 

Several other utilities, yet to
be announced, are also evaluating GE smart appliances in their laboratories.

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