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Potential Energy (Savings)

The amount of energy we use at home is usually invisible—until we get a bill. New home-energy-management applications promise to change that.

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How to Hook Up Your Home to the Smart Grid Today

This is your house on the smart grid. What the future of home appliances will look like when we're managing our electricity better.

This is your house on the smart grid. What the future of home appliances will look like when we're managing our electricity better.

Smart energy management is becoming common among utilities across the United States. But the smart grid—a catch-all term for an upgraded electrical grid that leverages two-way digital meters to monitor power use, keep track of home electricity costs, and integrate renewable energy sources—is still a nascent technology. That will change quickly, though. In the next five years, smart meters, electric vehicles, and smart appliances are all going to grow in popularity, and when they do, the smart grid will take off.

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