January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
October 2015 (1)
August 2015 (1)
June 2015 (1)
May 2015 (1)
February 2015 (1)
January 2015 (1)
November 2014 (2)
October 2014 (2)
September 2014 (6)
August 2014 (1)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (1)
March 2014 (3)
February 2014 (2)
January 2014 (1)
November 2013 (3)
October 2013 (1)
August 2013 (3)
July 2013 (4)
May 2013 (4)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (2)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (6)
November 2012 (9)
October 2012 (10)
September 2012 (9)
August 2012 (14)
July 2012 (17)
June 2012 (14)
May 2012 (13)
April 2012 (18)
March 2012 (14)
February 2012 (10)
January 2012 (12)
December 2011 (8)
November 2011 (11)
October 2011 (10)
September 2011 (13)
August 2011 (10)
July 2011 (6)
June 2011 (12)
May 2011 (8)
April 2011 (8)
March 2011 (9)
February 2011 (6)
January 2011 (9)
December 2010 (8)
November 2010 (17)
October 2010 (8)
September 2010 (12)
August 2010 (15)
July 2010 (10)
June 2010 (15)
May 2010 (9)
April 2010 (11)
March 2010 (13)
February 2010 (10)
January 2010 (14)
December 2009 (14)
November 2009 (10)
October 2009 (17)
September 2009 (20)
August 2009 (18)
July 2009 (22)
June 2009 (12)
Answering Questions
Avista Utilities
Clark Fork
Community Service
Customer Service
Energy Assistance
Energy Efficiency
Environment Facts
Hydro power
Infrastructure upgrades
Lake Coeur d'Alene
Natural Gas
Power Outages
Reliability Facts
Renewable Energy
Renewable Facts
Smart Grid
Spokane River

The smart grid for 5-year-olds   


As recently as last night I was trying to explain what “smart grid” was to my five-year-old. Needless to say, she didn’t quite get the concept. She just knows if the lights go out “the batteries are dead.” I’m OK with that understanding for now – it’s probably more than I knew at that age.

So last night we were watching a TV news show that was reporting on smart grid stimulus funding. I’ve pointed out power lines plenty of times to my kids for safety reasons, but what they do is still a mystery and to be honest, before I started working at a utility, it was a bit of a mystery to me too. How does the electricity generated hundreds of miles away get to my blender? Seems pretty smart already, right?

We’ve been talking more and more about smart grid and Avista even applied for some federal stimulus funding earlier this month for some projects. In a previous post we said that in general, having a smart electric grid means using technology to enhance the flow of energy and information while increasing reliability, efficiency and decreasing costs. My five-year-old just walked away when I said that. Go figure.

So, we’re all still trying to figure it out – or at least how to talk about it. In the meantime, you can checkout this detailed presentation called “The Smart Grid: An Introduction” from the Department of Energy. It’s definitely more than an introduction and more information than you need for your everyday life, but it’s a nice reference piece to have if you’re studying to be on Jeopardy or just really want to know about this stuff.

In the end, I told my daughter that the smart grid will help our house, and the black wires attached to it, talk with the power company.

“Dad, power lines don’t talk,” she said. “Maybe mom knows.”

I give up. 

Anyone out there have a good explanation of smart grid for me to use?
Posted by  System Account  on  8/24/2009
0  Comments  | 0  Links to this post | Bookmark this post with:          


Add a Comment

We encourage comments on this blog, but this is a family friendly conversation, so please check out our discussion guidelines so we’re all on the same page. By submitting a comment, you agree to these terms and our Privacy Policy.  

Customers must have a My Account and be logged in to comment.
Login to My Account | Create My Account


We're hopeful that this space will encourage thought provoking and informative community discussions about issues related to our products and services. Currently you must be an Avista customer to participate in the conversation, but stay tuned. In the coming weeks we'll also provide an opportunity for non-customers to participate in this forum.