"The improvements, backers say, will change nearly every part of the nation's aging power transmission system – from how power plants distribute power to how consumers use it at home."
"The idea behind a smart grid – parts of which are already being introduced in Los Angeles, Boulder, Colo. and Austin, Texas – is to install devices that, working together, can save energy by increasing efficiency, reduce blackouts and cut customers' bills."
"But for the plans to succeed, state regulators must overhaul the rules they have used for decades to determine electric rates.
'You can't have a smart grid and dumb rates. We have been used to – for over 100 years – rates that are the same all day, every day. That's not the way electricity is produced,' Butler said."