Smart Grid Proof?

Robert Stratton bob at
Sun May 2 16:26:02 CDT 2010

On May 2, 2010, at 12:08 PM, Mike O'Dell wrote:
> without distributed energy storage technology,
> the best they can accomplish is a bit of peak shaving,
> and for most utilities, that actually matters only
> a few days a year. plus, the overall "savings" is very
> small and hard to recoup.
> what it *does* do, however, is give them lots
> more information with which to raise billing rates.
> you can look forward to electric bills that are
> as complex and incomprehensible as the one you
> get for your cellphone. and all the cost involved
> in getting you that new bill that makes no sense?
> it goes directly into the rate-base, so they pass
> that cost along. so you give them money that they
> spend on things so they can charge you more.
> ain't that a sweet deal?
> 	-mo

When I was speaking to utilities and other folks in this context at  
Symantec, I noticed a significant overloading of the term "smart grid."

In the U.S. it definitely appears to translate (almost literally) into  
mechanisms for demand-based dynamic pricing, whereas in Europe, it  
seems to have connotations of distributed generation and/or co- 
generation at the town or neighborhood level.

Of course, as with all other politically sensitive topics, any  
important distinctions like this will be lost at the level of news  
reporting and probably legislative discussion as well, unless it suits  
someone's purposes to disambiguate it.

--Bob S.
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