Representative Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) introduced the Smart Grid Advancement Act July 14 in the U.S. House of Representatives. McNerney, a Californian, sits on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Citing a recent Department of Energy (DOE) report that found that investment in smart grid technology has resulted in nearly $7 billion in economic output and the creation of 47,000 jobs, McNerney said his smart grid bill (also known as H.R. 2685) is needed to better use the country's energy resources.
“If we take action now, smart grid will create family-wage jobs, produce real economic benefits, increase energy efficiency, and allow for renewable energy technologies to be more easily integrated into our system," McNerney said.
The act would task states and utilities with establishing goals for reducing energy use during times of peak demand with the use of smart grid technologies.
“Increasing the use of smart grid technologies will help reduce use when demand for power is at its highest. That, in turn, will help save consumers money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
The act also contains reforms for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star program — an initiative to increase the energy efficiency of consumer appliances and electronics. The act would integrate smart grid features into Energy Star, according to McNerney's office.