Our everyday use of energy often goes unnoticed. Most importantly, our day to day lives are enhanced, simplified and comforted by the innumerable appliances that surround us. From the boilers that heat our homes to the smartphones that connect us, appliances and devices are everywhere. With the advent of distribution of electricity to the homes, appliances were invented to support every element of people’s lives and changed the way we live. It brought convenience like instant light, automation to everyone like washing machines which in turn gave the masses time. For example, time to vote, time to play sport, time to get together and time to communicate. See how electricity changed the home for more on the history and some interesting examples.
Electric appliances have been in the home for over a hundred years, in the recent past a new age of appliances has begun. The internet now means that ever more devices are being developed to support people’s day to day lives including devices such as Amazon’s Echo bringing a much more connected world. The “internet of things” is the term describing for the new revolution in appliances. Fridges that are now internet enabled to order your food. Wi-Fi buttons ordering toilet paper when you’re low. No part of the home is immune from windows and doors to pens and paper.
A new electronic age of appliances is emerging and these now are not only energy consuming but they can begin to play an active role in the energy story. Devices can communicate to ramp down or turn off when prices are high or switch on when prices are low. Devices will be able to optimise energy management in the home. Working with smart solar tiles on your roof and your new electric car, consumers will increasingly become prosumers without needing to lift a finger.