Smart Grid New England

A cool half a billion dollars is what electric utilities across New England plan to spend in the coming years upgrading the region's electric grid to a so-called smart grid, according to this AP post at ( ). The best quote in the story comes from Michael Sachse at OPower in Arlington, Va. “Just giving people a lot of data is not going to be particularly useful because the truth is that while no one wants to waste electricity and no one wants to pay higher electric and gas bills, people have busy lives and don’t have time to analyze electric bills,’’ he said.

About half the money is your federal tax dollars at work, with $230 million funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, and the balance coming from utilities and, well, you, the ratepayer.

Let's hope--better yet, let's plan--that the promise of smart grid gets delivered. The early smart grid pilots and roll-outs in other parts of the country provide valuable learning for New England utilities.