California now has over 8 GW of solar power and over 4 GW of wind power on a daily basis. It’s not always sunny or windy, so we still need on-demand natural-gas power plants to fill in the gaps, but fuel costs (and overall costs) are dropping like a rock. Conversely, there are times when it’s simultaneously sunny and windy, and there is a whole lot of cheap power available; that’s why Sabreez shows people when energy is cleaner using the concept of the Wind Number. Mother Nature supplies enough power to meet all of our energy needs, and modern technology is quickly developing to make that a reality. Overall, a dynamic energy ecosystem is emerging.
Wind Numbers over 70 mean power is clean. When Wind Numbers are dropping, it means demand is outpacing supply and fossil-fuel power plants are cranking up to meet your needs. The Wind Number is a simple way to see how clean your energy supply is. With California’s new electric rates, the fuel-cost-savings are passed on to you. It’s easy to save 10-20% on your electric bill if you sign up for a time of use rate with your utility and then use cleaner energy with the Wind Number.
Home solar is a great way to use cleaner energy. So is driving an electric car. During the Summer, it’s best to charge the electric car between 11 pm and 5 am when Wind Numbers are high. Your home solar system can meet your needs and feed the grid to power other people’s air conditioning use. Setting your thermostat a couple of degrees higher on Summer afternoons reduces the need for additional power plants to turn on. LED lighting helps too; it barely uses electricity. Finally, running your appliances using the “delay” button can shift energy usage away from the afternoon hours and effectively decrease your impact on the environment. As appliances become wi-fi connected, you’ll be able to hit auto and run them when Wind Numbers are high. Here at Sabreez, we can’t wait for that!
California’s energy ecosystem is illustrated on the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) website. CAISO shows electric power generation from different sources, but it also shows energy demand. Supply and demand must always be in balance. People installing solar and charging their electric vehicles is starting to show up in demand. This is a new development over the last couple of years, but the trend is going to continue, and even accelerate. It’s time to increase our energy awareness and use more clean energy and less fossil fuels.
Here’s the thing to remember; when you use energy matters now more than ever before. Reducing energy use near sundown is a good thing. The Wind Number is designed to let you know when energy is cleaner so that you can make an informed choice as an energy consumer, and reduce your energy costs using cleaner energy.