Rick Boucher,
Chairman,
Energy & Commerce
Subcommittee on
Energy & Air Quality
 
Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- June 4, 2007 –Legislation to establish a Grid Modernization Commission and to facilitate the development of a smart grid has been released for discussion by Rick Boucher, chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality.

The proposed Grid Modernization Commission would lead the effort to implement Smart Grid technologies and would be responsible for monitoring developments, encouraging progress toward common standards and protocols, identifying barriers and proposing solutions, coordinating with all Federal departments and agencies, and coordinating approaches on smart grid implementation with states and local governmental authorities.

In particular the Commission would be required to undertake on a biannual basis an assessment of the progress toward modernizing the electric system, including the provision of an inventory of smart grid systems, a description of the condition of existing grid infrastructure, a description of any state and utility plans to introduce smart grid systems and technologies, and an assessment of constraints to deployment of smart grid technology.

The Commission would also be required to develop rules and regulations to standardize the collection, presentation and delivery of electricity consumption and other information to the consumer

The draft legislation also calls for the establishment of a Smart Grid Investment Matching Grant Program to provide reimbursement of a quarter of qualifying smart grid investments by utilities and other providers. Among these are the purchase and installation of metering devices, sensors and other control devices capable of engaging in smart grid functions.

The Secretary of Energy is also called upon to deploy demand response technologies and techniques to measure peak load reductions and energy efficiency savings through a program of demonstration projects at up to five utilities.

The “Smart Grid and Demand Response” draft bill is aimed at supporting the modernization of the transmission and distribution system “to incorporate digital information and controls technology”. It was subject to a legislative hearing on May 24 and will be considered for inclusion in energy legislation to be marked up in the subcommittee and in the full committee after the Memorial Day recess.