North Carolina Pilot Project Proves that Smart Meters Cut Back on Electricity Use | Sustainability | Fast Company

Wirelessly-connected smart grids are often heralded as the solution to our electricity-devouring ways, and now an IBM pilot project in North Carolina has proven that a grid equipped with smart meters (digital meters that record power usage in real time) can save businesses and homes up to 40% in energy costs. The pilot project, which began in July, outfitted participants with software from IBM and Consert that uses a Verizon 3G network to transmit information from smart meters to the Internet. The software allows participants to check daily energy use from the Internet, calculate a monthly target bill amount, and give the Fayetteville Public Works Commission permission to turn off appliances for brief spurts when the grid is strained and nobody is home.

Brief multimedia posts related to IBM's Smarter Planet initiative, which includes smart grids, solar power and related energy issues as a major area of focus.