Everyone always talks about going after low hanging fruit.  It’s a great metaphor for the summer, as California peach harvests are underway.  Mention it in a corporate conference room or auditorium, and you’ll see every head nodding in agreement – it’s the common sense objective.  So if I write that intelligent use of energy is the low hanging fruit of all Smart Grid activity, everyone’s head is now bobbing up and down right?

So ok, what are we personally doing about going after that low hanging fruit?  What are we doing to intelligently use energy right now?  We can wait until grids and appliances are smart and everyone has a user-friendly home energy management system, but even optimists like me know that new technologies are not adopted overnight.

There’s quite a lot that can be done about energy efficiency.  Anyone can buy a power strip or two and put their home office equipment into a total power down mode to reduce electricity demand during non-work hours, or purchase programmable thermostats to schedule sensible energy use – without sacrificing comfort.  Corporate offices present great opportunities to also practice smart energy behavior.  Do all the office lights need to be on all of the time?  Probably not.  Unless you work in a 24X7 environment, most office workers could turn off the lights in their cubicles before leaving the workplace, as well as fully power down their computers and unplug laptop power supplies from wall sockets.

The list of possibilities for intelligent use of energy is almost endless.  So as we approach Independence Day in the USA, remember this – a brand new country began with people who stopped talking the revolution talk, and instead began walking the revolution walk.  If you want to reduce reliance on foreign oil, if you want to decrease CO2 emissions, or if you simply want to lower your energy bill, then start intelligently using energy.  Don’t wait for some dazzling new technology to do it for you.

Have a happy and energy-wise Fourth of July!