Whirlpool Corporation is honored to have been chosen as a recipient of a U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Smart Grid Investment Grant program grant of $19.3 million over a two year period - which the company will match with its own investments. Whirlpool Corporation recently announced that in 2011 it would deliver one million U.S. manufactured smart dryers capable of reacting intelligently to signals from the smart grid by modifying their energy consumption to save consumers money on their home electric bills. In addition, the funds will complement the company's commitment that by 2015 all of the electronically controlled appliances it produces - everywhere in the world - will be capable of receiving and responding to signals from the smart grid. This commitment is dependent on two important public-private partnerships: the development by the end of 2010 of an open, global standard for transmitting signals to and receiving signals from a home appliance; and appropriate policies that reward consumers, manufacturers and utilities for using and adding these new peak demand reduction capabilities.
The ability to access, analyze and respond to much more precise and detailed data from all levels of the electric grid is one of the major benefits of the Smart Grid, but those benefits could be lost or substantially delayed unless consumers recognize that Smart Grid technologies also respect their reasonable expectations of privacy and data security, particularly when usage data and data extrapolations can be associated with individual consumers or locations.