There’s growing efforts, both nationally and locally, to create a “smart grid” – which is a more dynamic and secure power grid that leverages technology to improve electrical system operations and help customers manage electricity use.
These technologies show promise for the future, and Pacific Power is taking steps to leverage new technologies to improve operational efficiencies and provide benefits to customers. Still, some technologies are expensive and not fully proven as far as the benefits they bring to customers.
Opportunities and challenges
As a regulated utility, we aren’t in the position to do research and development, but we constantly evaluate technologies as they’re available. We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars to install the best of these to upgrade our system.
For several years, we've been studying smart grid technologies that appear to offer the most benefits to customers and are most easily added to the existing electrical system:
- Smart meters;
- Improved outage management systems; and
- Advanced technologies to increase the efficiency and reliability of the regional transmission system and local distribution systems.
And we’re paying close attention to smart grid projects that are happening around the country to gain better insight into these technologies and how they can work for our customers.
Using energy efficiently today
In order to reap the benefits of a smart grid, you’ll need to take action based on the information that will become available – for instance, changing when and how you use electricity and taking steps to increase energy efficiency at your home or business.
You can take advantage of energy efficiency programs we have available now. These programs help you reduce energy use with proven technologies such as high-efficiency lighting and heating and cooling equipment.