Power companies eye smarter electrical grids for conservation

05/5/2008 | Washington Post, The

With the cost of raw materials spiraling and concerns about air quality increasing, power companies are seeking new ways to trim consumption by involving customers in the process. Smarter electrical grids allow consumers to make choices about their power consumption by offering economic incentives for off-peak usage. The stakes are high, as a 5% improvement in electrical efficiency will eliminate the need for an additional 90 coal-fired power plants in next 20 years, according to Jon Wellinghoff, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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