IBM’s recent successful implementation of infrastructure for a smart grid throughout the Mediterranean island country of Malta may provide important lessons for other countries seeking to lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Some images from the project help illustrate why smart grid is becoming an increasingly attractive option for American utilities, power generators and consumers.

Above, workers install a PLC Concentrator in a Low Voltage Substation to help monitor electricity flow.

The IBM smart grid system is interactive, allowing consumers to engage with data and change their electrical use in real-time. This smartphone application is linked with radio frequency for maximized engagement.

With consumers actively managing their energy use, it may no surprise that consumption fell quite dramatically in the months since the technology was deployed. This graph shows the data: