What’s So Smart About Smart Grids?

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You may have heard the phrase “smart grid” in the news recently and wondered what it means. The smart grid is the next generation electric transmission grid that delivers electricity from power plants to homes and businesses. It is called “smart” because the new grid incorporates the use of data, in addition to delivering electricity, that will help electric providers plan and electric users manage their electric consumption.

The smart grid overlays and incorporates digital technology into the electric transmission and distribution grid and allows two-way communication between electric suppliers and consumers. The smart grid will allow electric utilities to collect data with respect to individual customers’ electric use, such as the amount of electricity a customer is using at any given time. Once integrated with smart meters and smart appliances, the electric company will be able to determine how often you use your microwave and washing machine, when you open your garage door and whether you left the refrigerator door ajar.

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