What does Smart Grid mean to an end consumer
We have been reading about the term "Smart Grid" for several years now. However there is no single definition of Smart Grid. There is no single technology or solution which can be defined as Smart Grid. Smart Grid is probably a set of several technologies working in harmony. We have read few Power distribution utilities announcing plans to spend several millions of money on Smart Grid initiatives like installing smart meters at our homes, automated meter reading, meter data management, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and several other technologies. But what does "Smart Grid" mean to you and me as a consumer, what is it supposed to do and how will it impact me?
Building the Smart Grid means adding information technology and communications technology to the automation and control mechanism that already exists in the electricity grid. Convergence of information technology, communications technology and electricity grid lead to the digital technology. With the digital technology, the grid promises to operate more efficiently and reliably. It will also become capable to accommodate more non-conventional energy sources like solar and wind power, which are relatively unreliable sources of energy that can become more reliable with better control mechanisms in place.
Smart Grid could mean the following to me as a consumer.
1. Higher reliability
2. Receiving a call proactively from the utility informing about a planned maintenance
3. Availability of exact restoration time in the event of breakdown
4. Availability of detailed information on energy consumption and bills thereby helping in monitoring and reducing power consumption
5. Greater scope for saving on electricity bills
6. Active participation in energy efficiency and energy conservation initiatives
7. Availability of smart appliances
There are several benefits that an end consumer will avail from the implementation of the Smart Grid. Only the coming times will prove and establish the benefits.