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The Value of Smart Distribution Grids


This report is a discussion of the costs and benefits of smart electricity service to communities and their citizens. The most common argument against modernizing the electricity distribution grid is that it would be too expensive and the benefits would go to the utility at the expense of the consumer. This is the understandable result of a highly flawed utility cost/benefit accounting system that has been used for decades to justify the monopoly distribution service status-quo, in spite of overwhelming facts to the contrary, and to discourage communities and consumers from gaining control of their energy destiny by engaging entrepreneurial innovators in an open, competitive service market.

The utility keeps track of what it spends to deliver power to you, but it does not have to account for the economic losses to families and businesses when the power goes out, or for the waste and lost productivity that the obsolete electricity system causes. When consumers understand what they are really paying — in cold, hard cash — for what is wrong with today’s antiquated, relatively unreliable, inefficient and vulnerable power system, and when they understand the cost benefits they will receive from transforming that system, they will demand change. The savings from investing in smart distribution grids will immediately exceed the costs and will continue to grow — “quality always saves.”

Download a PDF of the full report.