The country’s power grid struggles to meet the energy demands of today. Extreme weather in Michigan, California, and Texas highlight the grid’s downfalls, says Forbes. And while the U.S. power grid may be the largest machine on earth, its limitations have been revealed, making way for innovation. Lucas Haldeman, founder and CEO of SmartRent, an enterprise home automation and IoT platform, says the solution for a more stable energy system may be in our homes. Using energy efficiently is also key to the solution, and with homes accounting for a large footprint on energy use, an energy solution within the home could be the most impactful change.
The pressure on the power grid is rising — and it’s only getting more challenging to handle.
The U.S. suffers from 147 big blackouts each year (paywall), and that number will continue to rise. An overall increase in extreme weather is creating new risks for unpredictable energy demands, and city managers need to plan for the unexpected.
California’s wildfires are one recent example; the state has seen five of its 10 largest wildfires in history over the past decade alone. Climate change is projected to continue causing more intense droughts and hotter conditions, fueling the fires that threaten the stability of utilities.
Power plants are designed to generate the same amount of power that customers demand at any given moment, which means if the power grid is unbalanced, it fails. As the power grid becomes increasingly unreliable, cities have implemented “rolling blackouts” to avoid a complete blackout of the entire system.
This is where housing comes in. Residential housing is becoming an ever-larger consumer of electricity, and already accounts for roughly one-third of the nation’s electricity consumption. Housing managers have an opportunity to make energy usage more predictable and consistent.