Smart Grid City Gains Juice

By Cathy Proctor
Denver Business Journal:.
February 6, 2009

People in Boulder are cutting their energy use and saving money thanks to
new meters being installed throughout the city as part of Xcel Energy
Inc.’s “Smart Grid City” project.

Xcel has partner companies in the $100 million project, which already has
installed 14,000 smart meters in Boulder homes, with a goal of reaching
45,000 by the summer. The meters monitor when and how much electricity is
used in the house, and communicates that information to Xcel Energy Inc.

The purpose is to test a variety of technologies that will give customers
more control over their power use. Xcel believes that if customers can
better control their use of power and natural gas, they’ll cut consumption
— reducing their utility bills and saving all customers the costs of
building new power plants.

The project has gotten national attention. There’s about $4.5 billion in
the proposed federal stimulus package for upgrading transmission lines and
utility meter systems, in order to smarten up a grid system that hasn’t
changed much since the days of Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the
light bulb who died in 1931.


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