Energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same service. Energy efficiency can be in the form of technological advances that provide us with tools, appliances and utilities and buildings that use less energy (or in the form of using the energy less or for shorter periods of time). Energy Efficiency applies to industry, personal lifestyles, and homes and vehicles and is key to fighting climate change.
Fortunately energy efficiency and conservation are also the lowest cost options for meeting energy needs and provide many other environmental, economic and social benefits, including cost savings, lower environmental load by avoiding GHG and local air, water and land emissions associated with energy production and consumption, local economic development opportunities and associated new jobs, enhanced reliability of energy system and reduce price volatility, and improved energy supply security.
Canada has a reasonable track record on energy efficiency but has the potential to make significant gains over the next decade. Energy efficiency and conservation policies should become the cornerstone of future energy policy because of their multiple benefits. Canada needs a national energy efficiency strategy and action plan developed by provincial and federal governments which expands the support for energy efficiency - learning from best practices used elsewhere and building a strong energy efficiency industry that can deliver cost saving products and services to all consumers and businesses. There are also important roles for municipalities, NGOs, energy utilities, First Nations, and international agencies and partnership.
Old-style meters only measure the total amount of electricity used over an entire billing period. In the future, smart meters will record total electricity consumption hour by hour. And it will send information to the utility through either a wireless or another form of technology. Consumers will also have access to the data, and be able to plan their energy use.With the ability to measure when electricity is used, different prices can apply at different times of the day.
The benefits to the public are:
- The ablity to take action to manage electricity bills: With attention to how and when electricity is used, it will be easier to manage electricity costs.
- Receive feedback about electricity use: The electricity bill will display how much energy is consumed within each time-of-use (TOU) period.
- More precise electricity bills: Energy bills will be based on the hourly readings taken and sent by the Smart Meter.
Currently, smart meter programs are being established in Ontario, the UK, Italy, across the United States.Visit Smart Meters Ontario website
Visit Smart Meters.com website (US)
Visit Enel: Smart Meters webpage (Italy)
Visit Department of Energy and Climate Change website (UK)