What Smart Grid Is
In some ways, it is as difficult to answer this question as it would have been to try to describe in 1980 what the Internet would look like today. Few people at that time could have predicted the impact of e-mail, e-commerce, search engines, wireless communication and mobile navigation systems.
True enough, a few visionaries did recognize the potential of the Internet and they helped design the future we all enjoy and often take for granted. Like those early designers of the information superhighway, TVA understands the promise of a communications network that delivers the smart grid to homes and businesses. The features and benefits of the smart grid can be defined, but its end state will be ever evolving.
Consumers and small businesses will have smart meters that will display minute-by-minute how much power is being used and what it costs, enabling them to lower their power use and immediately see the cost difference.
Smart meters also will allow the utility to save power by turning off water heaters and other appliances for short periods when people are away from their homes or businesses.
Smart grid will get the right information to the right people at the right time to enhance customer satisfaction.
TVA and its partners are exploring a variety of other technologies designed to increase the efficiency of energy use. To learn more about them, see the list at upper right.