Smartphones and their applications could be the key tools in getting people to measure and moderate their use of electrical power, Sophie Quinton writes. "The digitization and bringing of Big Data to the home offers the potential of the app store for the home," says Brewster McCracken, CEO of Pecan Street, which is working with the University of Texas at Austin on smart grid technologies. He adds, "These kinds of systems really hit their sweet spot in detecting problems that were really difficult to detect before."

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