The smart grid empowers customers by creating the foundation necessary for a number of new technology-driven energy alternatives, emission reductions, efficiency improvements, a shift to a lower emitting fuel for transportation, and encourages more energy efficiency by providing real-time energy usage data to customers. Research shows that when customers know how much energy they’re using, they will reduce their use by 5 to 10 percent. Additionally, the smart grid promotes integration of the vast amount of renewable energy that is currently being mandated and that is already in the pipeline for development.
- A smart grid senses problems and reroutes power automatically. This prevents some outages and reduces the length of those that do occur.
- A smart grid helps meet growing demand for electricity while limiting the need to invest in new power plants.
- A smart grid delivers the power “quality” necessary to run our increasingly digital homes – power with fewer sags, spikes, and interruptions.
- Smart grid reduces greenhouse gas emissions by making it easier to connect renewable energy sources to the electricity grid.
- Smart grid and smart meters help consumers save money by providing near real time energy usage information and the ability to manage electricity use.
- Smart grid and smart meters make it easier for utilities to offer new kinds of rate plans to help customers manage energy usage and cost -- for example, by shifting some types of usage to times of day when electricity costs less.
- Smart meters eliminate the need for meter reading – instead, usage information is transmitted directly to the utility for timely, accurate billing. There is never a need to send an estimated bill to the customer.