Despite questions over climate change as a basis for installing these micro brown-out devices, utilities and manufacturers continue marketing them
Long considered rumor and conspiracy gossip, utilities are now confirming they can indeed control the flow of electricity into homes using wireless communication with the Smart Grid. Under pilot programs in cooperation with the Department of Energy, regional power companies such as EPB in
may cut the flow of electricity to
specific appliances in the homes of their customers during times of peak use. Chattanooga, Tennessee
According to Danna Bailey, spokesperson for EPB, homeowners who voluntarily enroll in these schemes can save money by giving the utility the option of limiting power to high usage systems in the home or on the property when strain on the grid is most pronounced.
Specifically targeted for efficiency are water heaters, air conditioning systems and heaters for outdoor swimming pools, said Bailey. In a recent program offered by EPB, which was funded by a grant in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, customers could save money by adding a wireless device, approximately the size of a garage door remote, onto the assigned appliances which would allow the electric flow to be controlled by the utility company.