Administration Pushes for "Smart" Grid

The Obama administration is pushing aggressively to establish standards necessary for the president's plans for a smart electricity grid, a system which delivers electricity from points of generation to consumers who would be able to monitor the amount of energy they consume and adjust their consumption habits accordingly.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met at the White House today with over 70 business industry leaders and state and federal regulators to discuss the standards needed to update the country's antiquated electric transmission system.

The Secretaries message was clear, accelerating the standards development is an "urgent national priority" and while consensus from industry leaders is ideal, it's not a requirement. "Today represents a significant step down the road toward realizing the Smart Grid vision," Locke said. "But, in the end, if there is not unanimity, if there is not even strong consensus, we in the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce...will make the decisions to get us moving forward as quickly as possible."

Following today's meeting Secretaries Chu and Locke were able to announce the first 16 standards which they assert will help ensure equipment from different companies will work together seamlessly and secure the electric grid against disruption.

$4.4 billion of the president's $787 billion stimulus bill has been allocated to the modernization of the electric grid.