As Smart Grids continue to gain popularity, and begin to be implemented by utility providers across the US, appliance manufacturers are going to be releasing compatible products to help optimize energy usage in your home. One of the first to hit the market is Whirlpool, best known for clothes washers and dryers and dishwashers.
This week, Whirlpool announced it will produce 1 million Smart Grid compatible clothes dryers by 2011 as part of the US Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment Grant program, with every appliance produced by Whirlpool to be Smart Grid compatible by 2015.
The appeal of these appliances is their ability to calculate the best time of the day to run in order to save money. As the Smart Grid develops, many areas may see time-of-use pricing implemented, meaning you’ll be charged more for the power you use in the middle of the day than at night. If that’s the case, your appliances will know to run at a time when it will save you money. With one million of the dryers on the market shifting energy consumption away from peak times, it may mean saving the equivalent of 10 coal burning power plants.
As great as that sounds, a Smart Energy clothes dryer will probably only save you around $20-$40 per year, and likely cost more than a standard dryer upfront. But once all of your appliances are Smart Grid compatible, and your home becomes more energy efficient, you’ll see an overall benefit on your monthly hydro bill, and on your environment as well.