Monday, June 4, 2012 

Presentation: Smart Appliances
Charlotte Skidmore, Dir Energy & Environmental Policy, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM)

Notes from the meeting (For more detail, see PDF below)
AHAM covers appliances inside the home, including single room air conditioners, but not central units, heat pumps, or solar power systems.
Over the past 20 years, some appliances have become more efficient, but not all. Clothes washers, refrigerators and dishwashers are several times more efficient than in 1991. 
A Smart Appliance is able to respond to the ability of the power company to deliver power at any point in time. 
The power company is looking at:
  • Delivering a peak load
  • Must have reserves standing by; because most energy sources take time to come up to speed, 
    the reserves must be “spinning” reserves.
  • How to respond to a customer demand.
  • How to price energy as a function of cost on an hourly basis.
In the Q&A session after the talk, the question as to how robust these appliances might be and how they would be maintained was raised. An appliance is assumed to have an average lifetime of 15 years. There was spirited discussion over the tendency of manufacturers to make the controls items non-repairable and very expensive to replace. 

Smart Appliances Presentation (PDF, 1,683kb)