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But some consumers, concerned about rising prices and privacy, would rather their electricity meters stayed dumb.
The key is a modular design, which could make the technology practical as a way to keep the grid stable and reduce electricity costs.
Installing “smart meters” and upgrading utility networks will force electricity providers to process far more information than they’re accustomed to handling.
General Electric and startup companies alike say they benefited from the company’s call for ideas about the smart grid.
Q&A with Darrel Stickler, a leader of Cisco Systems’ green task force.
New solid-state power-management devices will charge cars fast and make the power grid more flexible and efficient.