The smart grid can be thought of as national and personal all at once. On a personal level, the smart grid connects all of the electronics in your house, letting them communicate on an internet for electronics. This electronic internet also communicates with you via your smart phone or computer in real time, letting you monitor your electricity usage.
Your appliances will talk to each other and organize times of non-peak electrical usage for them to complete cycles that use a lot of energy. Your home will talk to you, letting you know if you’ve left your television running or if the light in the garage is still on.
On a national level, your home will be tied into the national grid like it is already, but two-way communication will happen with the power plant. If your home has solar panels installed by an electrician, any extra energy you produce will be sold to the power plant. The power company will be able to monitor your electrical usage too. They will use this information to create a picture of your neighborhood. This tells them exactly how much energy needs to be sent in your direction.
This system will be a replacement for our current power grid, and it will allow two-way communication between the power plant and your home. The meters for this system will report themselves. You won’t need a stranger tromping through your yard once a month to read your meter anymore.
This system will create a more efficient use of electricity by sending it where it needs to be. It will also report problems as soon as they happen. Before you could find a flashlight during a blackout, the power company will know exactly what wire went down and why. This will cut repair times. Since everything will operate more efficiently, there will be less cost to keep everything operating, which will translate into cheaper power prices for you.
Maintenance for your home will be easier. Having an electrician wire your house for this system will let you know exactly what your home is doing. If your water heater sees problems that could indicate a breakdown, you will get a text message alert. This will let you drain it before it turns your basement into a hot tub.
While you will need to replace your current electronics with applicances designed for this new grid, the cost will be worth it. The power grid will be more reliable, which means fewer blackouts. Your house can even report suspicious electrical activity to you, creating increased security. You may find yourself pressured to have an electrician install solar panels, but the power company will pay you for the extra energy. It will be an improvement for everyone involved.