Who will manage the smart grid?
June 17, 2009, 10:03am PDT | Length: 00:05:36
At Greentech Media's Green Building Summit at SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif., tech executives discuss the future management of smart-grid technology and whether the balance of power will go toward utility companies, government regulatory agencies or building owners.
>> So that brings up the question we've been hearing lot about smart grid and things like that and that's gonna offer a way for consumers to monitor their electricity consumption for example and become more energy efficient. We've also heard about how utilities can use that to help with demand response in reducing the load on their power plants. I'm just curious where the balance of power is going to take place. Are building owners going to be able to optimize around energy efficiency or is it going to be utilities that optimize around loading their plants?
>> Hey, it's interesting. There's the--I have--my personal philosophy is is that it's gonna end up on this supply side and it's gonna end up with utilities because the regulatory bodies are used to doing air resources board, and there's an existing government identity that knows how to do that. I think it's on the wrong side. I think it ought to be on the demand side. It's closer to reality. It's simpler. It physically just isn't shifting carbon around, it's reducing carbon. So where's it's gonna end up, I think personally it's in the wrong place, but I won't put money as gonna be on to the demand side. I think that it'll be more on the regulatory side because the government knows what to do. There's existing identities to do it. That's just my personal opinion where the utilities will take advantage of the carbon side, where--and that home owners will see the reduction in their utility rate. And I don't think landlords are gonna get it. I don't think tenants are going to get it. I think it'll be on the other side. That's my opinion. I don't know.
>> My bet on the residential--on the commercial, I'm with you, on the residential space just because of how diversity--the number of buildings we're talking about 13.2 million building, residential buildings just in California. I think that long terms it's gonna be 15-minute incremental rate changes and the ability to control loads inside your own house. There's also a limit in how far the utilities can reach into the grounds. But I'm with you in the commercial side where that's why it's easier to control the buildings.
>> It won't prize drive although because I mean year ago this time, you know, we always kind of pushing 140 dollars a barrel and went way down, now it's going back up. But I mean people where, you couldn't--you couldn't give a way a large SUV with the VA.
>> That was last year.
>> That was last year, right? Laughter And all kinds of people were coming up with and I guess I would make the case that in large part energy consump--or resource consumption in a built environment is going to be similar. I think particularly for residential. Commercial, you know, round number salaries are 100 dollars square foot utilities are couple of dollars square foot. So it's hard to get the same level of urgency, I think, in a commercial building. I wish it was different but--
>> I think the market would drive it. I think it's supplying the demand as the competitive nature of business. It's the--my building is better than your building kind of the concept. And I think that's gonna be the key competitive pressures more than a price with energy and carbon, I think will ultimately drive that new building. I think the existing buildings is gonna take either government or it's gonna take a real state transaction. And it's gonna be the folks at Stanford and Haas and those places who are physically going to drive the market change and change the conversation 'cause of legislative and competitive pressures.
>> I have to say I think the feedback is a benefit certainly. Probably the people will already benefit the most but will still benefit the most. But it kinda gives the opportunity for transparency and behavior change. So individuals can at least have an understanding of what their behaviors mean. And whether you're talking about an individual home owner or any cable inaudible system computer and its home charger on his room and his parents get mad. I mean whatever scale you're talking about, it's a benefit to at least to be able to observe what is the result of a behavior. And when you factor in the time of use considerations, it becomes more--it's a more interesting game to play. And in fact, the title 24 that goes into effect the 1st of August, that's part of that game is that because the weights are shifting and penalties for consumption at peak load times show up in title 24. That is code. So that--I mean that will affect the behavior.
>> I think only if the user pays for it individually.
>> Well no. It affects your ability to meet code because you have to demonstrate your behaviors in your code submissions. So it's calculated. It's not--I mean in terms of actually--
>> It's adjusting product versus new.
>> Yes. Well, for new buildings, it's the way that it works. You know, you built--but this is sort of prescriptive versus performance based. But current codes as far as energy goes it's set up that you can either follow the rules and comply or you can prove that you achieve a certain performance level and so the way you do that is you say okay if I built Joe average building and just complies with the code. This is what it would be and here's how I've done it. I did a different mix. I've put in better windows. I'd, you know, I've put less insulation 'cause I wanted more windows, but they're better windows, whatever your math is. But you have to prove that you achieve the overall goal so that--that is our energy code, that is our requirement for new buildings.
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