Originally published: June 25, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:42am
Wary homeowners in the UK could scupper the rollout of smart technologies meant to boost energy efficiency, without secure controls over data and access to appliances, executives said.
"Smart grid" technologies potentially allow utilities greater control over household energy use, helping smooth demand surges and curbing overall use. Technologies center around home meters which display live energy use to consumers and allow two-way wireless communication with utilities, so these can forecast demand, charge more at peak times and even switch off individual appliances remotely. Rollout is at an early stage, drawing comparisons with broadband Internet a decade ago, but gathering pace. Britain, for example, plans a nationwide deployment, seeing energy security and carbon emissions benefits. But the data-gathering power of meters has prompted comparisons with "spies" in people's homes.
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