Could ‘smart energy’ save us money (and save the planet)? Energy efficiency is a key strategy in the fight against climate change, and might also help pass on savings to consumers. Smart energy grids use sensors, data and even AI to better handle peaks and slumps in demand, improving energy efficiency and helping to address the issue of intermittency of renewable energy sources.
With enough data, it may be possible to anticipate demand. Some companies already advertise smart systems that can switch off the lights in your house if you accidently leave them on. Could we one day fully automate our energy systems, delivering usage data in real-time to improve efficiency and cut down energy consumption?
What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from Marios, who says he thinks that a “good idea would be the compulsory installation of smart electricity meters that indicate in real-time the usage and the cost of electricity for each household”.
For a response, we put Marios’ comment to Claudia Gamon, and Austrian MEP with the Renew Europe Group, and a member of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. What would she say to Marios’ idea?
Next up, Malcolm is worried about his privacy and personal data if he installs a smart meter in his home (and he makes reference to the infamous “Telescreens” which spy on their owners in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four). Is he right to be concerned?
To get an answer for Malcolm, we put his comment to Michael Villa, Head of Policy at the business association smartEn (Smart Energy Europe). What would he say?
Next, Andy is worried about people hacking into his smart energy meter. Is he right to be concerned about cybersecurity and smart devices?
We put Andy’s comment to Claudia Gamon MEP. What would she say?
Our next comment came from Paul, who questions the need for smart technology. He thinks encouraging consumers to switch off lights and appliances is a better way to increase energy efficiency.
To get a response, we put Paul’s comment to Roland Tual, Project Manager at REScoop.eu, the European federation of citizen energy cooperatives. What would he say to Paul?
Finally, Peter is worried that the EU energy market is too fragmented for smart grids to work effectively. Is there anything the EU can do to speed up the adoption of smart energy technology?
How would Michael Villa, Head of Policy at smartEn, respond?
What would Roland Tual, Project Manager at REScoop.eu, say?
Would you mind if an algorithm switches off your light? Should smart meters be compulsory for all households? Wouldn’t switching off lights the old-fashioned way be better for the planet than smart technology? And should you worry about privacy or cybersecurity if you install a smart meter in your home? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!