Our nation’s electric power infrastructure that has served us so well for so long – also known as “the grid” – is rapidly running up against its limitations. Our lights may be on, but systemically, the risks associated with relying on an often-overtaxed grid grow in size, scale and complexity every day. Today’s electricity system is 99.97 percent reliable, yet still allows for power outages and interruptions that cost Americans at least $150 billion each year — about $500 for every man, woman and child. From national challenges like power system security to those global in nature such as climate change, our near-term agenda is formidable. Some might even say history making.
California utilities have already begun a transition from our current centralized, producer-controlled network to one that is less centralized and more consumer-interactive. The move to a smarter grid promises to change the industry’s entire business model and its relationship with all stakeholders, involving and affecting utilities, regulators, energy service providers, technology and automation vendors and all consumers of electric power.
Today, many customers still have questions on how the Smart Grid will impact them both in the near and long-term future. The members of this distinguished panel will answer your questions and discuss how the Smart Grid will be an enabling engine for the 21st century electric grid.