“Smart grid” generally refers to a class of technology people are using to bring utility electricity delivery systems into the 21st century, using computer-based remote control and automation. These systems are made possible by two-way communication technology and computer processing that has been used for decades in other industries. They are beginning to be used on electricity networks, from the power plants and wind farms all the way to the consumers of electricity in homes and businesses. They offer many benefits to utilities and consumers -- mostly seen in big improvements in energy efficiency on the electricity grid and in the energy users’ homes and offices. For a century, utility companies have had to send workers out to gather much of the data needed to provide electricity. The workers read meters, look for broken equipment and measure voltage, for example. The “grid” amounts to the networks that carry electricity from the plants where it is generated to consumers.
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