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Accentuate the Positive

A practical guide to explaining the value of the smart grid.

Fortnightly Magazine - August 2013
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To answer such questions, regulators should address technical subjects directly and seek to simplify the analysis in discussions with consumers. After all, our economy and way of life depends on a modern and sustainable electricity system, and that system must integrate the full range of energy resources – from nuclear to distributed renewables. Optimizing that integration depends on a fully functional smart grid. 

Moreover, as the nation moves into a time of unprecedented environmental, economic, and technological change, our power system must keep up in order to continue meeting our growing demand for the high-tech products and services that depend on reliable and affordable power supplies. 

Such issues represent the primary motivating factors in any discussion about smart grid upgrades, time-of-use programs, and other initiatives that involve investing in new technology and systems. Changing the way our nation thinks about the need for smart grid technology takes a village, but it also means moving markets to invest in the technology in the first place. That starts with a solid business case and clear policy direction, and it continues with ongoing communications to show the value of smart grid to customers.

Endnotes:

1. “ Consumer Pulse Wave 3 Study ,” Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, 2013.

2. “ Consumer Pulse and Market Segmentation Study ,” Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, 2012.

3. “ 2013 State of the Consumer Report ,” Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative.

4. Hammerstrom, D.J., et al., Pacific Northwest GridWise Testbed Demonstration Projects ,” PNNL, Oct. 2007. 

5. “ 2012-2013 Annual Directory & Statistical Report ,” American Public Power Association.

6. “ Smart Grid Technologies ” report, Navigant Research, 2013.

7. “ Q1 2013 Earnings Call ,” Itron.

8. “ Consumer Pulse and Market Segmentation Study ,” Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, 2012.

9. Levine, Linda L., “ Retiring Baby Boomers = A Labor Shortage? ” Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, 2008, p. 10.

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