Smart City

Smart City Sentinel

Revolution at the Grid Edge: A Pioneering Approach to Energy Management

By Erik Linask

Energy use and conservation have been part of the global conversation for decades but, as we move further into the 21st century, the urgency for sustainable energy consumption has grown.  The global demand for energy is surging, driven by industrialization, population growth, and technological advancement.  Yet, our traditional methods of energy generation and consumption, reliant largely on fossil fuels, have led to detrimental environmental consequences – notably pollution and climate change.  These unsustainable practices have brought us to a critical juncture, where we must prioritize the adoption of sustainable energy solutions to ensure the health of the planet and future generations of its inhabitants.

Sustainable energy consumption is not merely an environmental necessity, but a socioeconomic imperative.  A transition to renewable energy sources, coupled with energy-efficient practices and technologies, can drive many benefits.  These include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, enhanced energy security, and the creation of green jobs.  It’s an agenda that is no longer solely left to legislators and businessmen.  With the proliferation of digital technologies, consumers now have the potential to play an active role in this transition.  By providing real-time data on energy usage and costs, devices such as smart meters can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their energy consumption, fostering a culture of sustainability and environmental responsibility.  The need for sustainable energy consumption is a call to action for all – from policymakers and businesses to communities and individuals.

It will take a large-scale and multifaceted effort, of course, but everyone can play a role.  Going back to smart meters, they have been around for some time, yet the world is nowhere near tapping their full potential. 

GridX and Sense are looking to drive adoption of smart meters and have announced a partnership with that goal in mind.  They two hope to unlock previously unrealized benefits from smart meters for both consumers and utilities.

GridX provides enterprise rate platforms to modern utilities, and Sense is a pioneer in real-time home energy intelligence.  Their partnership will translate smart meter data into tangible benefits for customers and the electricity grid by providing real-time energy usage and cost insights.  The partnership is backed by Energy Impact Partners (EIP), a global investment firm with a focus on the transition to a sustainable future, and an active thought leader on climate tech and the path to net zero.

This partnership shifts the way people understand and use energy.  The integration of GridX and Sense's technologies will provide customers with greater insight and control over their energy usage and costs in real-time with the ability to enhance consumer understanding of energy costs, ultimately saving money and reducing carbon footprints.

Combining the strengths of both organizations, they will be able to leverage grid edge intelligence to identify where and when energy is consumed in the home, and to apply real-time pricing signals.  This will help consumers make the best decisions regarding their energy consumption.

Knowing what devices draw the most energy is relatively easy, and some people have made efforts to limit high-consumption appliances during peak hours to help reduce demand on the grid.  The truth is, though, most people won’t change their habits until they see how changing behaviors can impact their costs.

“Increasingly, the problem isn’t how much energy we all use, it’s when we use it.  The price of energy changes radically throughout the day,” said Chris Black, CEO of GridX.  “Understanding where you are using energy is no longer enough... you must understand how much it costs when you use it.”

One compelling use case involves Electric Vehicles (EVs), which are becoming increasingly popular – a trend that is almost certain to continue as battery and charging technology evolves and as EV prices drop.  When a new EV is identified at a home, Sense can engage the customer through its mobile app and use GridX’s real-time localized, dynamic pricing data to show how EV charging will impact their bill. Using pricing and usage data, Sense can suggest different times for charging and provide pricing insights down to each device.  This visibility can also be provided to utilities, allowing them to optimize grid infrastructure investments by shifting EV charging out of peak periods, saving customers money.

The future of energy consumption is here, and it's smart.  As GridX and Sense continue to refine and expand their services, it's clear that the goal is not just to increase efficiency, but to fundamentally change consumers’ relationship with energy.  By providing real-time insights and more control over energy usage, they are empowering consumers to make more informed consumption decisions.  At the same time, they are also helping utilities better navigate grid management complexities and helping drive the transition towards a more sustainable and resilient energy system.

Edited by Erik Linask
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Group Editorial Director

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