You likely have heard of the efforts to build a Smart Grid but are not clear what that might mean? The “smart grid” is an effort to better control & direct power (electricity). Presently America’s electrical systems are isolated and segmented. So – some regions (for example, the Northeast) has very high demand but lacks ability to produce enough,… other regions (say the Northwest) produces a lot but has a moderate demand. The smart grid will be able to divert excess power to areas that need it most. Presently, if we look at the power costs of each region the prices reflect their supply & demand. The NE pays about $0.14 per kilowatt while the NW is paying about $0.08 per kilowatt. Thus, here in the NW we have low utility costs but the NE has high utility costs.
Bottom line – when the smart grid is implemented it will loosely level out the costs. Those paying low utility costs will surely see a spike in their bills. Logically, those with high utilities would also see a drop in their bills? Not likely… we rarely see a reduction in costs or taxes. Besides, how do you think they will pay for the added costs of the smart grid system? So, here in the NW we should be prepared to see a big jump in our utility costs over the next 5 to 10 years. This information is all the more reason for us to implement better building practices and energy efficiency measures.