Broadband Communities

Show Guide 2019

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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96 BROADBAND COMMUNITIES SUMMIT 2019 Show Guide Sponsor WHITE PAPER meters will help the environment "by reducing the need to build power plants, or avoiding the use of older, less efficient power plants as customers lower their electric demand." Reliance on internet technology is explicitly stated: Customers with Smart Meters today can access their prior day's electricity usage through their utility's website. In the near future, by installing an in-home display device that communicates wirelessly with a Smart Meter, a customer could monitor their electricity usage and costs in real-time…allowing them to adjust their usage instantaneously in response to changes in prices or system reliability events. … (CPUC, 2018) It culminates by declaring that Smart Meters are the first step toward creating a Smart Grid in California. With a Smart Grid, digital technologies are applied to every aspect of the industry, from generation, to transmission, to distribution, to the customer interface. This will help the grid sense what is happening to the energy flow, keep it in balance, and improve reliability and make the grid more resilient in the face of outages and other problems. (CPUC, 2018) In addition to utility-installed smart meters, the earliest devices of the internet of things are just coming to market. One of the more popular is the Nest thermostat. According to Nest, citing independent studies, its thermostats can save consumers "an average of 10 percent to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling." The company's website has a ticker claiming that since 2011, Nest thermostats have saved more than 23 billion kilowatt- hours of electricity. Obtaining these benefits comes from a consumer's ability to receive mobile notifications and control the device remotely. However, a disclaimer on the Nest website states, "Mobile notifications and remote control require working internet and Wi-Fi." Nest's energy saving benefits are unavailable to households without Wi-Fi internet access. Beyond Nest, the commercial sector for smart home appliances is just starting to emerge. A quick search of the internet shows a variety of Wi-Fi–enabled refrigerators, air- conditioners, ovens, washers and dryers, water heaters and many more. Washers and dryers, for example, are touted as allowing users to load them and then let the machines communicate, in real-time, with the electricity provider to determine the best time to start, thereby allowing for better grid management and savings for consumers. The biggest impact from the commercial sector will be in electric vehicle charging. With batteries that currently range from single digits of power consumption to 100 kWh, EVs will quickly become the single biggest consumer of electricity. Managing that demand is already assumed to rely on broadband technology to manage the grid. Whether it is the charging stations, the cars themselves or both, they will need to communicate with the network to ensure maximum efficiency while ensuring that drivers are not stranded without a charge. ELECTRIC UTILITIES AND BROADBAND Myriad benefits from broadband can accrue to electricity generators, operators, consumers and society at large. Primary among the benefits is demand management and demand response to maintain a stable grid structure. That demand management/response will depend on a real-time communications/ information exchange that can be accomplished only with broadband. The benefits of those programs are an increase in efficiency from all parts of the system, resulting in less energy generated with fewer resources consumed and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Working in conjunction with demand response is time-of-use metering, which allows consumers and appliances to respond to price signals and saves money for both utilities and customers. Broadband also enables other potential technologies that facilitate better grid management, which results in more efficient overall operations. Specifically, sensors can enable remote monitoring and control of non-residential facilities from water management and agriculture to rural Figure 4

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