This is a bit of old news (from the Daily Camera) but the University of Colorado’s chancellor now has a smarthouse as they are the first to be hooked up to Xcel energy’s new smart grid. Xcel's smart grid monitors how much power their house is drawing, which is something the standard grid can't do. The article goes over what the smart grid can do, which is really pretty cool. I didn't realize you'll be able to change the temparture of individual rooms with it but maybe I didn't fully understand.
What was also interesting from the article are the posts in response. People are concerned that this promotes consumption over conservation, issues or privacy and, of course, cost. There are probably lots of issues some known, others unforseen and unimagined that will bubble to the surface but that is an issue for any new technology.
I wonder if we'll see (at some point) competitions between neighborhoods, schools, cities or counties on who can consume less. Or if renewables like solar will be included in the development of smart grids? And will this virtual idea of smart grids extend to another idea like the virtual neighborhood, where I join a virtual zip code of like-minded people all striving to be net-zero. And how will the definiton of off-the-grid change?