A new technology has made it possible for data to be transmitted across a national grid for the first time. The technology was successfully tested on the UK’s National Grid, and was created by UK smart grid company Reactive Technologies. The Grid Data and Measurement System (GDMS) is a way to send data between smart devices connected to an electrical network.

The GDMS sends messages through electric cables to appliances with a smart plug connected to the grid, asking it to adjust its use of energy. For instance, it can send a message to a thermostat in a home, asking it to adjust its temperature by a degree, or even a fraction of a degree, during peak energy use periods. The technology could be useful in the future for connecting internet of things appliances.

It could also instruct appliances to use renewable energy, in areas where such is available. This is aimed at making the grid smarter and more efficient. This model of data transmission could reduce energy bills for consumers who allow for variations in the consumption of large appliances.

The data sent between devices can be used to improve power efficiency, transforming consumer power consumption to a decentralized model of virtual power stations, allowing homes and businesses to combine efforts for demand-side power management. Additionally, the generated data could offer a clearer glimpse into how power is generated and consumed at the distribution network level.