Smart appliances utilize modern computer and communications technology to make functions faster, cheaper and more energy-efficient. The appliances can take advantage of an energy "smart grid," being implemented by utility companies nationwide. When the smart grid technology is finally implemented, refrigerators, toasters, dishwashers and washing machines can tap into the smart grid power source.
Smart appliances can access the smart grid power source to optimize energy use at opportune times of the day. For example, power will only be supplied to the coffee maker in the morning and the washing machine at night. Smart grid power technology has not yet been implemented nationwide, but is currently being tested in specific markets.
Smart appliances have the ability to communicate with other appliances in the neighborhood and nearby on the smart grid to regulate and optimize energy use from a community level.
Smart appliances stay connected to the Internet via wi-fi connection and can be accessed and controlled remotely from any Internet accessible computer or mobile device.
Tendril, maker of the data processing software used in smart grid technology, is anticipating a 30 to 50 percent reduction in energy use per smart appliance.
Energy Company Savings
According to a report by MSNBC, if smart appliances and smart grid technology were implemented nationwide it would save energy companies $70 billion in costs over the next 20 years.