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How the Smart Grid Helps Homeowners Reduce Their Energy Use

August 9, 2011 - 11:09am

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Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman sees firsthand how new in-home monitors help consumers save money. <a href = "http://energy.gov/photos/how-smart-grid-helps-homeowners-reduce-their-energy-use">Click here to see more photos</a> and learn how new smart grid technology can help you save. | Energy Department Image | Photo by Jen Stutsman

Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman sees firsthand how new in-home monitors help consumers save money. Click here to see more photos and learn how new smart grid technology can help you save. | Energy Department Image | Photo by Jen Stutsman

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Houston, Texas, with Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. During our trip, we visited with officials from CenterPoint Energy and saw firsthand how the smart grid is helping consumers reduce the energy they use in their homes. 

CenterPoint Energy is one of the nation’s leaders in smart grid technologies. With the help of $200 million in funding from the Recovery Act, the company is building a smarter, more reliable, 21st century electrical system for Houston’s residents. The project is deploying a total of 2.2 million smart meters, more than 500 grid monitoring sensors, automation at 30 different substations, and a range of energy use tools to help families save money on their energy bills every month.

See photos of new in-home monitors and learn how they're helping consumers save.

The project also included a pilot program with 300 customers, who received a smart meter and in-home energy monitor to provide them with better information on their home energy use. During last week’s event, Deputy Secretary Poneman joined with CenterPoint to release the initial results from the program.

The results underscore a point that Secretary Chu often makes – giving consumers access to more information about their energy use empowers them to take action to save energy.

More than 70 percent of participants said they had already taken steps to lower their energy use based on the real-time information they got from the in-home energy monitors. And tellingly, 97 percent of the participants plan to continue using their in-home monitors even after the pilot program is complete. 

Smart meters and the tools that go with them are giving consumers unprecedented control over the amount of energy they consume and how much they spend every month on their energy bills. Through continued deployment of cutting-edge smart grid technologies, more consumers will be able to access their energy data in real-time – benefiting families nationwide.

Learn more about the results of the CenterPoint pilot project here.

Watch a video of the Houston event with Deputy Secretary Poneman here.

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