Will consumers plug into home energy displays?
Dozens of home energy monitors are coming to market, but nobody knows whether only hybrid Prius owners will use them.
Whole home energy monitors, or displays, are designed to help consumers conserve energy by providing far more detailed information than a monthly bill. These types of devices are already available, but millions more are poised to enter U.S. homes in the next two years, largely through utility-run smart grid programs.
The gadgets themselves vary, but the common thread among them is the ability to capture a stream of energy information from a meter at a given moment. Simply by surfacing real-time data, either with a small device or Web software, it's believed the system will prompt people to change their habits and ratchet down consumption by 5 percent to 15 percent, according to studies (PDF).
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