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Utilities to reap significant savings from smart grid

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, July 29, 2011

According to white paper released by the Institute for Electric Efficiency (IEE) this month, utilities stand to benefit from the ongoing development of the smart grid, with long-term savings arising if their customers embrace the technology.

CNET reports that the IEE report underscores the ways in which utilities are preparing their power supply networks for future growth. IEE performed a cost-benefit analysis using statistics that take into account real world usage of the power grid, according to the news provider. It then applied those findings to a variety of different types of utilities that currently operate in the U.S.

According to the group's findings, utilities will have to invest a significant amount of money - at least initially - to implement advanced metering infrastructure, smart grids and other energy management technologies; estimates range anywhere from around $198 million to $272 million.

However, if utilities successfully implement such systems they stand to save between $77 million and $208 million in operation costs over a 20-year span. The cost savings could result from reduced metering costs and improved grid monitoring, among other ways.

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