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Electric Cars Could Change How We Power Homes

Time : "Electric vehicles are our fastest-growing alternative to oil-derived gasoline. Solar panels are our fastest-growing alternative to coal-powered electricity. They’re both getting less expensive and more effective, driving our clean energy revolution. And there’s new evidence that these two great tastes can taste particularly great together, transforming how we consume and produce power in ways that will accelerate that green revolution."  

"The evidence comes from Opower, a firm that uses software and behavioral science to help utilities promote energy conservation—and has amassed the world’s largest storehouse of household energy data along the way. Opower studied the power consumption habits of about 2,000 plug-in electric vehicle owners enrolled in “time-of-use” pricing programs. That means they got discounted electricity rates from midnight to 7 a.m., when demand is typically low, but paid a surcharge during peak daytime hours, when demand tends to spike."  

"Grid managers have to balance supply and demand every second, so big gaps between peak and off-peak demand can create big inefficiencies by forcing them to turn power plants on and off to adjust supply. In theory, the combination of electric vehicles (which can be charged any time) and time-of-use pricing (which encourages charging after midnight) could help reduce those gaps. It could also help prevent electric vehicles (which alleviate the problem of carbon emissions) from exacerbating the problem of overloaded daytime grids. And that’s basically what the data showed—with a twist."

Topics: news