250,000 dryers=one coal power plant
The way that a smart clothes dryer works is that it gets a "price signal" from a smart meter that peak prices are in effect. If a consumer has set up the dryer to work with demand response programs, it will go from using two heating coils to one.
In a demand response program, the utility will offer the consumer a lower rate for dropping its energy use during peak times. The low-energy dryer mode will take 60 or 75 minutes, rather than 35 minutes. Consumers can also schedule to run dryers and other appliances in the middle of the night or other off-peak times.
Lowering energy use on high-energy appliances, such as clothes dryers and water heaters, can make a significant difference in aggregate. About 250,000 homes running their electric dryers is the equivalent to 600 megawatts of electricity use, about the same as one coal plant, said Venkatakrishan, who is pictured here.
July 16, 2009 5:57 AM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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