GridWise Alliance launches GRID 21 to advance smart grid deployment

Washington, D.C., June 13, 2011 — The board of directors of the GridWise Alliance, the leading coalition advocating for the transformation of the electric system for the public good, today announced the formation of GRID 21, a new non-profit committed to engaging electricity customers in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption.

GRID 21 will provide programs, tools, and information to consumers about smart grid; promote the development and deployment of diverse tools; and ensure that impacts and benefits are carefully measured.

Building on the work of the GridWise Alliance, GRID 21 will provide the platform for a variety of programs around the country that are uniquely created to meet regional and local priorities and needs.

“The GridWise Alliance has been extremely influential in creating better policies and leveraging effective thought leaders in the industry,” said Robert Shapard, Chairman of the GridWise Alliance and CEO of Dallas-based Oncor. “We are proud of the work we’ve been doing with decision makers in Washington and around the country but realize more work needs to be done. GRID 21 will build on the foundation we have created by providing a platform for the industry and utilities to work more closely together and with government agencies to achieve the full-scale benefits of smart grid initiatives across the country.”

For example, GRID 21 announced Biggest Energy Saver Campaign in conjunction with the Obama Administration’s unveiling of its new smart grid framework.

“GRID 21 is a natural outgrowth of the GridWise Alliance’s efforts to create a new strategy for the organization and to find effective ways to increase its impact directly with the industry,” said Steve Hauser, a founding member of the GridWise Alliance and Vice President of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Hauser has been charged with leading the formation of GRID 21. “It is important for us to build on the current range of projects being implemented across the country, and I’m excited to make GRID 21 a key contributor to the success of these and many more projects to come.”

The power industry has been diligently working to determine the policies, programs and initiatives needed to maximize the benefits from smart grid investments. One of the emerging challenges is the need to better engage consumers in building the new, 21st century grid.

“We are very excited to see the industry taking this kind of leadership towards addressing an important need,” says Pat Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at the U.S. Department of Energy. “We are very proud of progress being made as a result of the Recovery Act investments, but understand that this is just the beginning. It’s important for the industry to find more effective ways to engage consumers as part of the solution.”

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