What is the smart grid?
Until recently, electricity has flowed pretty much as it had for more than a century — in a one-way stream from where it’s generated to where it’s used.
But new smart grid technologies create a two-way exchange of electric power and information that help us make our system more efficient, secure and reliable while also helping us cut Oregon’s carbon emissions. The smart grid also offers customers more choices and tools to power their homes and businesses more affordably and sustainably.
Read about our recent Smart Grid Test Bed announcement.
Benefits of the Smart Grid
More efficient, secure and reliable
- Smart meters allow PGE to more quickly pinpoint outages and reduce outage time.
- Microgrids and other self-healing systems isolate outages and help get power back on faster. See how it works at our Salem Smart Power Center.
- Battery storage allows us to store power when it’s plentiful so we can save it for when it’s most needed.
- Smart grid technology could one day enable even your electric vehicle’s battery to provide backup power to your home or the grid during an outage.
Helps you save energy and control costs
- Online tools like Energy Tracker℠ and Energy Expert help you track when and how you use energy so you can pinpoint ways to save.
- Programs like Tandem and Energy Partner℠ reward you to voluntarily reduce energy use at your home or business when demand for electricity is high, such as on the coldest winter mornings and hottest summer afternoons.
- Smart meters allow us to offer pricing plans that incent customers to use more of their power at night, when it’s less expensive.
- Dispatchable Standby Generation helps cover standby generator costs for businesses, in exchange for providing energy when demand is high.
Helps us get to a clean energy future
The smart grid allows for better integration of variable renewable resources like solar and wind.
It also allows us to be part of the Energy Imbalance Market, a system that automatically draws from the lowest-cost, most renewable power resource available at any given time.
And, the smart grid is the foundation for the shift to transportation electrification. That’s important to our carbon-reduction goals because transportation is the single biggest contributor to carbon emissions in our state.