Home energy assessments are a practical, straightforward way to improve the overall efficiency of your home. Learning how to better manage home energy use can lead to significant cost savings. A professional assessor can perform the evaluation or a do-it-yourself review can be helpful.  But what if you could monitor your home's energy use on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis?

That's exactly what Smart Grid technology offers—providing both consumers and utilities with the information to better manage electricity use, in real time.

Smart Grid technology is often referred to as 'modernizing the electric grid', and when you think about how a monthly energy bill is determined, it all starts to make sense. Consider the typical process: a reader comes out to record a meter and subtracts that amount from the previous visit.  This calculation can only determine how much energy has been used since the last reading. A smart meter modernizes this process—allowing utilities, and the consumer, to become more aware of how energy is being used, not just by the last utility reading, but hour by hour.

The more a consumer is aware of home energy use, the more control the consumer has over their electricity consumption and energy budget.  For instance, there may be more inclination to run the dishwasher during "off peak" hours when power is cheapest or extra motivation to lower the thermostat or unplug appliances not in use.  Small adjustments like these can lead to huge energy savings.

Over 100 million advanced smart electric meters have been installed throughout the United States, with residential installations representing 88% of the total.  As efforts to use modern technology to improve the effectiveness of the electric grid continue, consumers will not only have more choices when it comes to managing electricity but more opportunities to reap significant savings in the long run.