This website was created and initially named “TheTruthAboutSmartGrids.org,” in response to the smart grid advocates and proponents presenting only one side of the story with regard to smart grids and smart meters, i.e., touting only the potential benefits and never mentioning the potential costs and drawbacks. [The primary domain name for this website has since been changed to “SmartGridAwareness.org.]
The definition of truth is generally considered to be “something that is in conformity with fact or reality.” Strictly speaking, a proposition must either be true or false. When dealing with complex issues, however, the search for the truth may involve a thorough review of assertions in order to ensure that they are not exaggerations of reality and that assertions are believable based upon the balance of evidence.
This webpage and its drop-down menu will present a wide-range of smart grid informational materials, some based upon smart grid advocate sources and some based upon smart grid opponents or skeptics. The website moderator will provide perspective where possible and will strive to present the truth, devoid of exaggeration or hype.
What is really important is that consumers become more informed of not just the potential benefits of the smart grid systems but also the potential costs and risks of those systems. Through this increased awareness, citizens will be able to hold their utilities and government officials accountable for enhanced safety and security as well as protection of their constitutional rights and liberties.
To get started on the topic of “Smart Grid Information,” let’s first review some basic information available from a US Department of Energy website. This initial information will not mention any drawbacks to the smart grid, but it is still a starting point for discussion.
What Makes a Grid “Smart?”
In short, the digital technology that allows for two-way communication between the utility and its customers, and the sensing along the transmission lines is what makes the grid smart. Like the Internet, the Smart Grid will consist of controls, computers, automation, and new technologies and equipment working together to quickly respond to changing electric demand.
What does a Smart Grid do?
Reportedly, the Smart Grid represents an opportunity to move the energy industry into a new era of reliability, availability, and efficiency that will contribute to our economic and environmental health. The potential benefits associated with the Smart Grid include:
- More efficient transmission of electricity
- Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
- Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers
- Reduced peak demand
- Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
- Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems.
For a simple explanation for the smart grid and what it is reportedly capable of, from an industry perspective, refer to the video prepared by EPCE, the Energy Providers Coalition for Education:
Additionally, the Department of Energy (DOE) has released the following video of what the smart grid is intended to accomplish.