It sounds like something out of Alice in Wonderland, but the National Grid’s chief executive this week suggested the energy markets in the UK be changed to encourage the industry to sell less energy. Obviously, the current market model makes more money for selling more energy; turning it upside down seems daft but may well result in a more balanced electricity power flow.
Imagine every house fitted with intelligent and communicative energy metering that both shows the moment to moment cost of the energy being used in the home, and also communicates back to the supplier so that they can adjust their peak demand costs. This would influence a change within the consumer, to perhaps run the washing machine at night, the dishwasher at dawn… instead of putting them all on together (more convenient of course, but the peak in demand that’s made causes more power stations to be brought on-stream, which are then producing wasted electricity once the peak has passed).
It might also make the consumer question the need to leave so much equipment connected to the grid 24/7. I hear some folk are still leaving their tellies on standby and some don’t even use low energy lamps…! These load balancing costings are already used in industry, but even these could be fettled to level the energy demand further. You can see the real-time electricity demand for the UK here. Now, if only public services could improve by paying less taxes – well paying more doesn’t seem to work…?