Gov. John Kitzhaber said Thursday that power customers could play a bigger role in the state's clean energy future. He spoke at the Northwest Smart Grid Summit in Portland.
The governor says a smarter power grid can help Oregon reach his 10 year goals for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
For example, Kitzhaber says, projects are underway to install two way electric meters in people’s homes. The meters will allow utilities to tell their customers when and where they're using the most energy. That information could prompt customers to reduce their energy use to save money.
Kitzhaber says, “By engaging citizens with newly available information and with user friendly technologies for example being able to adjust your thermostat from a smart phone and giving them meaningful choices, we can get these consumers to engage as active partners as opposed to passive passengers and that can help us in a very dynamic way shape our energy future in Oregon and across the Pacific Northwest."
Kitzhaber says Oregon has already taken a step in this direction by allowing power customers the option of paying lower rates by using energy at lower-demand times of day.
Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting