We're on track to have 10 billion people on the planet by the end of the century, and everyone is consuming more than ever before. We face imminent extinction if we don't find a way to support more people with less energy, water, and everything else we consume. It's a big challenge, but one Belkin is becoming very focused on addressing.
Energy Conservation with Belkin Conserve
Kevin Ashton | Belkin Conserve
What are your thoughts on the current Smart Grid system?
There are two ways. First, we need to make efficiency affordable for all. That means well-designed mass-produced solutions that are made with cost in mind. Second, this technology needs to deliver benefits beyond just savings. An energy efficient light bulb can't be dimmer than a regular light bulb. An energy efficient washing machine should do a better job of cleaning your clothes than a regular washing machine. There must be a compelling reason to switch to efficient technology.
How is Belkin bringing smart tech to life for utilities, businesses, schools?
Today Belkin has a range of simple products that help people save energy automatically, and also to help them understand how much energy different devices consume. Some of these are available in retail stores; some are available to utilities; some are sold in bulk for use in schools. Belkin will be making more and more of these products available over time.
Looking ahead, Belkin will be bringing advanced technologies like the Internet, cloud computing and artificial intelligence to bear on the challenge as well. We have a lot of exciting research going on in our labs.
We get independent certification from UL Environment for all our consumer products. All the savings depend on you as an individual, but UL tests showed savings of $72 per year for our Smart AV surge protector that shuts your entertainment system down when you turn off your TV, 67% a year on charging costs when you use our Valet product to charge your cell phones, $40 a year when you use our Switch surge protector that turns off with a wireless switch, and $34 a year when you use Socket, our power timer that shuts things down completely when you are done using them. That adds up to over $175 a year, but it really does depend on what you do with your devices. Your savings may vary.
Looking ahead, how will Belkin change the existing industry of alternative energy?
We are focused on energy efficiency – saving energy. By reducing the amount of energy people need, we can reduce the amount that needs to be generated, which will increase the proportion coming from alternative sources. We, at Belkin, are also looking at providing ways for consumers to reduce their peak load instantly when the grid is overloaded - this may help support intermittent sources of power like wind and solar.
As the consumer population continues to grow, how does this relate to energy efficiency?
This is the biggest challenge, and not just with energy. We're on track to have 10 billion people on the planet by the end of the century, and everyone is consuming more than ever before. We face imminent extinction if we don't find a way to support more people with less energy, water, and everything else we consume. It's a big challenge, but one Belkin is becoming very focused on addressing.
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