The buzz about GE's Smart Appliances—microwaves, oven ranges, hot water heaters and dryers equipped with smart grid communication technology—has been building for months. Some of the appliances go into a low power mode when utilities signal that overall grid power consumption is up, and return to normal power when consumption is down. Others have on-board displays to indicate when electricity is cheap. It's a boon to utilities overloaded with electricity demand as well as consumers seeking low energy prices.
GE's smart-grid appliances are being tested in 15 Louisville, Kentucky, homes at the moment, but a new video from the company demonstrates the capabilities of the communication-enabled appliances for the rest of us. The appliances will become widely available later this year.