Home Science & Technology Improving Technology and its Impact on the Consumer

Improving Technology and its Impact on the Consumer


Each day developments behind the scenes are continuously moving technology to new heights that benefit the consumer. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that people first got their chance in 13 states to choose their own electric company like Comed utilities, out of Illinois. Many people are now using this to explore other options, bringing competition to the table that for the first time has their interest in mind. Features like 24/7 access to customer service, disclosed hourly kWh rates, and being able to select a billing date and plan, are just a few of the items available to the consumer.

The reinvention of the light bulb

In addition to having the option to select your own electric service provider, many other companies were also inventing things that would greatly affect the electricity consumption per household. The CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) hit stores in the mid-1980s but due to their cost, bulky design and mercury content, they did not receive the billing they expected. It wasn’t until the redesign in the late 1990s that consumers gave them a try.

Today, these CFLs use LEDs, are mercury-free and instead of lasting for 3 to 7 years, they now have a life span of 13, 20 and 25-years. The prices are still higher in comparison to the original light bulb, however, with the reduced energy consumption (some costing less than $5.00 a year per a 3-hour a day usage), it offers you savings on all platforms, including replacements and yearly energy costs.

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New technology on the horizon

The age of the “Jetsons” seems to get closer with each passing year. Since the introduction of the home computer in the mid-1990s, more electronic devices are now making life easier. Cell phones, iPads, Notebooks and home security systems are just a few advancements that help families stay connected.

Today, many technicians and scientists are working on ways to boost home energy efficiency through the use of automated control systems for heating and cooling units, lighting and other systems.  This technology expects to reduce the cost by allowing you to use data such as outside air and room temperature, humidity, light level and occupancy, at a fraction of the cost offered by similar wireless sensors available today. These companies expect to improve how home appliances communicate and interact with each other with the electric grid.

New and improved electric appliances like heat pumps utilize existing hot and cool air in the home and redistribute them to other areas as needed. This can help to reduce energy consumption anywhere from 30 to 45-percent. This same technology is also in the early stages of development for use with your clothes dryer as well, giving you access to a smart dryer that can potentially lower energy consumption by up to 60-percent compared to dryers used today. Tinted pane windows, magnetic refrigerators and the next generation of foam insulation that leaves no gaps, creating a dense and efficient composition, are all in the late stages of development, soon to become available to the public.

The future of technology is here and it appears very bright for the consumer. These advancements expect to do away with the high energy bills making them a thing of the past, without sacrificing your level of comfort. By utilizing existing energy and placing it where you need it and inventing new ways to efficiently run appliances, the next generation will consume less energy and increase the use of eco-friendly sources.