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?


It's a beginning. The current grid was finalized a little over fifty years ago, and at that time it was a miracle just to get electrification to everybody. Electricity suddenly seemed abundant and was certainly life-changing. Now, we know we need to become much more efficient in how to generate and use electricity, and that better information is an important part of that transformation. It took five decades to build the grid - we should see the process of making it better as one that takes almost as long. Not some quick fix. The best is yet to come.
 
 
Who benefits most from the implementation of the Smart Grid?

Today, utilities, without a doubt. They got subsidies to install meters that don't need meter readers. This will save them money and increase their profits. In the future it should be - in fact, it must be - all of us.
 
 
How can efficient technologies be brought to regular people?

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?

Currently:

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:

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.
 
 
How much energy and money can be saved using the devices that Belkin has developed?

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.
 

Kevin is a leader in the clean tech revolution since its inception, commissioning dozens of research studies around the world, previously working as the first VP, Marketing at publicly traded clean energy company EnerNOC, then as co-founder and CEO of clean tech start-up Zensi, and now heading up Belkin Conserve, the new clean tech division of the global consumer electronics company, designs products to conserve and save energy, and to personalize and enhance the connection between people and the tech we use every day. 
 

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

SMA America - Introducing the New Sunny Boy 5.0/6.0-US

SMA America - Introducing the New Sunny Boy 5.0/6.0-US

The Sunny Boy 5.0-US / 6.0-US features a wealth of improvements and joins SMA's lineup of field-proven solar technology backed by the world's #1 service team. The world's first Secure Power Supply now delivers up to 2,000 W of opportunity power when the grid goes down and the sun is shining. Installation has never been easier thanks to SMA's Installation Assistant, direct access via smartphone, and integrated DC disconnect. The Sunny Boy's multiple independent input channels, each with SMA's OptiTrac™ Global Peak, mean hundreds of stringing configurations for flexible system design while solving the challenges of complex roofs and shading. The residential PV market is changing rapidly, and we understand that your bottom line matters more than ever. That's why we've designed a superior residential solution that will help you decrease costs throughout all stages of your business model. The Sunny Boy 5.0-US and 6.0-US are once again raising the bar by offering improved performance, enhanced features, and most importantly, cost savings across the entire spectrum of residential installation processes.