Growing field of ‘smart grid’ technology faces opposition over pricing, privacy

Source: Steven Mufson, The Washington Post

Ralph Izzo, the chief executive of the New Jersey’s Public Service Electric and Gas Co., isn’t your average utility executive. At Columbia University, he studied mechanical engineering as an undergraduate and later earned a doctorate in applied physics. At the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, he did numerical simulations of fusion experiments and published or presented 35 papers on something called “magnetohydrodynamic modeling.” So it’s not surprising he would say that he “fell in love” in 1998 with the gadgetry commonly known as “smart grid” technology — as Izzo puts it, “customer communication technology, real-time price signals and fantastic sensory capability.” But 13 years later, Izzo says, “I have only now come to realize that what I really wish my customers would do would be to use more caulking.”

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