Quick Take: Need more ammunition to convince ratepayers and regulators that it’s time to modernize? Need more statistics and examples of just how bad things have gotten in the U.S.? Read “A Smarter Power Grid for U.S. Utilities” from Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Brief abstract below. – Jesse Berst

Power outages in the United States are up an astonishing 285% since 1984. The U.S. ranks last among the top nine Western industrialized nations in the average length of outages. That dismal performance costs American businesses as much as $150 billion every year according to the EIA.

“The U.S. electrical grid, once one of the world’s great marvels, is crumbling after decades of underinvestment,” trumpets the magazine. “It’s… something of a relic, largely built after World War II from designs that date to Thomas Edison.”

Although talk of a smart grid has been around for years, many utilities are now starting in earnest on a huge infrastructure makeover. It could cost almost $500 billion before it’s completed, according to the Electric Power Research Institute.


Shopping for smart meters? They aren’t all alike, so knowing the right questions to ask will help you make the right purchase decision. The latest infographic from Elster Solutions highlights 20 questions that should be on your list. It’s free and available in both digital and print versions. Get your copy now.


Using data from Eaton, Bloomberg charted those areas with the worst record of outages.

  • States getting an F:Idaho, Montana, North Dakota
  • States getting a D:Nevada, Tennessee, Washington

The article cites the following organizations for their smart grid efforts: American Electric Power, Austin Energy, Centerpoint, DTE Energy, New York Independent System Operator, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric.


Bloomberg Power Outage State Chart. Courtesy Bloomberg Businessweek


Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.