Amsterdam Makes a BidTo Become Leader in Energy Efficiency

Amsterdam will invest more than $1 billion over the next three years to become one of Europe’s leading “smart cities” by installing sophisticated energy monitoring technology in households and funding other energy efficiency programs. BusinessWeek magazine reports that city officials aim to install “smart grid” technology — which allows consumers to monitor energy usage in real-time and carefully control the operations of heating systems and appliances — in 200,000 homes and apartments. Such technology has enabled consumers to slash energy usage by as much as 50 percent, and Amsterdam officials plan to eventually install it in the city’s more than 600,000 households. The “smart city” program also will provide financing for roof insulation and energy-efficient lighting, will underwrite the purchase of electric garbage trucks, and will power electronic displays at bus stops with solar panels, among other measures. Accenture Consulting, which is working on the Amsterdam energy plan, is also collaborating with utilities around the world, including a program to install smart-grid technology in 60,000 Denver households this year.