Smart Grid 101

Our electric system is more than 100 years old and although it has served us well, it needs upgrading. The energy industry is poised for a dramatic change. In the face of expanding customer expectations, increasing environmental regulation, and new technology, the traditional approach of building new power plants to meet energy demand can no longer be the only option. We must find ways to improve our service and meet our customers’ energy needs in a smart, lower-carbon way. Renewable generation and energy efficiency must, and will, play a larger role.

The smart grid is the evolution of our current electrical grid, using new technology to optimize the conservation and delivery of power. All told, the smart grid promises to increase the efficiency of today’s system by around 9% by 2030, saving more than 400 billion kilowatt-hours each year. That’s huge. That means we could save $42 billion in year 1 and as we keep saving energy, its value each year only increases.

The "grid" refers to our nation's electric power infrastructure. Smart grid is the application of information technology, tools and techniques that can make the grid run more efficiently. The current electric grid is highly inefficient and very much in need of modernization.

Learn more about the smart grid

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.

Consumer Benefits

Research shows that when customers know how much energy they’re using, they will reduce their use by 5 to 10 percent.Learn more about consumer benefits of smart grid.

Electric Vehicles

A fact-based guide, infographic and video that explore common misconceptions around electric vehicles and the many benefits that EV owners enjoy.

Fact Sheets

A series of fact sheets on the truth about smart grid and smart meters and how they are where power is going.

Frequently Asked Questions

A series of commonly asked smart grid questions about benefits, concerns, logistics and general information.

Internet of Things

An infographic that explores what is the Internet of Things and what does it mean for you in relation to your energy usage.

Rate Your Home Energy Knowledge

Resources to find out why the energy industry is increasingly transitioning to renewable energy and what this shift might mean for you.

Renewable Energy

Test yourself on your knowledge of the smart grid and its benefits

Smart Grid Glossary

A set of important smart grid vocabulary listed alphabetically to make you more knowledgeable about your energy.

Smart Meters

A quick guide to smart meters, an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy and is an important component of a smarter grid.

The Next Innovation

An interactive timeline showing how Smart Grid and Smart Meters are the next advancement in the history of electricity and human innovation.

Video Library

Access videos to learn more about smart grid and smart meter technology and how it can empower you to control your energy costs.

Ways to Save on Energy

Three fact sheets on trusted tactics and new strategies for reducing your home energy use, whether you’re looking for the latest technology or a low-cost weekend project.

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