Secretary Steven Chu visited Battelle headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, today to make a big announcement about our nation’s electrical grid: an impressive two million smart grid meters have been installed across the country -- thanks to the Recovery Act.
The smart meter technology will help families and businesses cut their energy costs by creating a more reliable, modern electrical grid, reducing response time for energy disruptions and enabling consumers to better monitor their energy consumption. In Ohio alone, more than 180,000 smart meters have been installed so far, smart grid technologies that Secretary Chu says “will give consumers choice and promote energy savings, increase energy efficiency, and foster the growth of renewable energy resources.”
In fact, an analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute estimates that the implementation of smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than four percent annually by 2030 – that would mean consumers around the country would see savings of over $20 billion each year. Ohio will save $700 million – or $61 in annual utility savings for every man, woman and child.
Before making the announcement, Secretary Chu toured Battelle’s smart grid technology suite to see their energy technology experts at work on R&D projects that will improve grid reliability and efficiency, lower energy consumption and costs, reduce peak demand and significantly reduce carbon emissions. Battelle is collaborating with American Electric Power (AEP) on the Ohio gridSMART demonstration project to upgrade the electric grid in northeast central Ohio. To learn more about smart grid technologies, visit http://www.oe.energy.gov/smartgrid.htm
Liz Meckes is a New Media Specialist with the Department of Energy