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Cost of Smart-Grid Projects Shocks Consumer Advocates

The interactive, computer-managed electric distribution system known as smart grid isn't just smart — it's expensive.  The cost of upgrading the country's system is set at $165 billion over the next two decades by the industry-funded Electric Power Research Institute.

Utility companies are looking at smart-grid technology to meet state-mandated reductions in energy use.  "The meters, which can automatically report back to the utility, send signals to appliances in the home and keep track of energy use by the hour, are key to managing peak loads and better using wind and solar power," said Paul Moreno, a PG&E spokesman.

But the cost to implement the system across the nation is not as evident to consumers as the increases in their utility bills, and many are questioning the process as well as the benefits to cost ratios.

by Mark Jaffe/Denver Post/19Feb10
via Western Business Roundtable Website

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