The Eurpoean Union is considering a mandate to require smart energy meters for homes. "A smart energy meter enables consumers to check how much energy they are using and how much it will cost." The idea is that more informed power consumers will pay more attention to efficiency. Just like in-car efficiency meters effect driving styles, Smart Meters should effect living styles.
This is reminiscent of a competition for a similar idea organized by Viridian Design back in 2000, for an internal whole-house meter that would display how much power the house was using at any given time. Viridian's intent was to have a display that would become more interesting and beautiful as the house became increasingly efficient.
Along the same lines, there are also currently available websites for buildings with photovoltaic arrays that display the net metering effects of the building. You can see both the production of the solar panels and the demand from the building, so you can see when the building is consuming more power than it produces, and when it is "running the meter backwards" and producing more than it consumes.
There are even some public libraries that have energy meters available for patrons to use to see how much power individual devices draw.
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