Emerging Trends in Environmentally Friendly Electronics
Energy Management Systems and the Smart Grid
A recent study released by the Consumer Electronics Association found just 10.2 million of 119 million U.S. households are estimated to have enrolled in energy management programs. Two-thirds of consumers lack understanding of the smart grid. Home energy management systems allow consumers to control heating and cooling from a programmable display. Just 24 percent of consumers are enrolled in these programs, though 60 percent of consumers are concerned about their electric bill. So call your local utility for more information on these programs – research shows the more you know about your consumption, the more you save!
In the future, these systems could greatly be enhanced by consumers controlling their home energy remotely and by building intelligence into devices (a dishwasher running only when energy rates are lowest). Similarly, consumers would have control capabilities via smarthphones, computers and other devices. This technology development, years away, is commonly known at the smart grid, and could cut energy costs by 20 percent.
However, with so few enrolled in management programs, consumers need to understand how technology innovation can lower their monthly power bill and reduce energy demands. Policy changes also need to occur, namely dynamic pricing tied closer to demand needs to be implemented to mitigate peak demand and consumers need real-time access to their usage data to curb their energy use.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) Displays
Consumer electronic devices, such as TVs, have made huge efficiency gains in recent years (the power needed to operate a LCD TV plummeted 63 percent from 2003 to 2010), but even bigger gains lie ahead. Light emitting diodes are incredibly efficient and according to projections will account for 50% of liquid crystal display (LCD) market in 2014, a sharp increase from 32% in 2011.