Sandia Labs wants to help solve this problem. A team there has managed to hack together a power plug that can monitor energy consumed and control usage as needed. The system is completely distributed and there is no need for any form of direct management over the system. But the system does come with the ability to network with other plugs over ethernet to better plan its power management.
Anthony Lentine with the smart outlet. Credit : Sandia National Laboratories
That will help them better route power to people, meaning less power needs to be generated and the cost per Kilowatt goes down. Oh, and the tech could help consumers better cope with the variable output of some alternative energy sources like solar and wind power. All in all, a pretty good deal.
Engadget Photo by : Sandia National Laboratories