Move from electricity supply following demand to where demand follows supply

We're moving from a world where electricity supply follows demand to one where demand follows supply. By shifting and shaping demand, we can make the most of renewables and help make the grid more efficient, cheaper and cleaner. But it's not always easy to plan. We can all read clocks - but can we read grids?

Yesterday, two announcements from major companies put the spotlight on the mainstreaming of demand flexibility. These new features can tell you the best times to use electricity, or even better, automate household appliances or turn your electric car into a hassle-free money saver that can read the grid.

Apple's latest feature, Grid Forecast, "uses data that combines grid, emissions, and weather information into one, easy-to-follow signal. This can help people make decisions about the best time to run large appliances and charge electric vehicles or devices throughout the day." (

"BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced that they have entered into an agreement to create ChargeScape, LLC, a new equally-owned company that will create a single, cost-effective platform connecting electric utilities, automakers and interested electric vehicle customers. Benefiting both EV customers and the electric utility industry in the U.S. and Canada, ChargeScape will unlock entirely new value that EVs can provide to the electric grid, while enabling EV customers to earn financial benefits through a variety of managed charging and energy-sharing services never before possible with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles." (

And yes, there have been and will be other smart energy/smart charging solutions from other players - newcomers and established ones. They're likely to benefit from the mainstreaming of demand-shifting features and from the awareness of times when the grid is cleaner. The best time to make smart use of energy starts right now.

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