Wired provides a wiki for collecting ideas and techniques for automating your home. Even though we do not yet have widespread retail choice in electric power service as residential customers, these ideas can reduce energy bills and reduce overall resource use:
Aside from the nerd bragging rights, fully-automated homes can be much more energy efficient. Left the light on in the basement after that last-minute laundry dash? That’s money out of your pocket. But an automated home could have killed the lights as soon as you came upstairs.
Ditto for the A/C you left running all night or the blinds you always forget to close in the afternoon heat. Your forgetfulness is wasting money and using energy you don’t need to use. Automation cuts down on your energy use by doing the smart and simple tasks for you.
Aside from the potential savings in money and energy, you can perform other practical tasks like monitor your pets, detect unwanted visitors or even send yourself an e-mail when the water pipes in your basement burst.
And then just imagine how valuable and useful it will be to have that automation capability once we really do get retail dynamic pricing! Then we really can deliver on the promise of sending prices to people, and their devices!