Smart grid electrifies K Street

“Smart grid” is a moniker for a better-performing electricity grid. Leveraging software and other new technologies, a smart grid would reduce the energy lost during the transmission of electricity and make it easier for consumers not to be such energy hogs.

Though it sounds techie, a smart grid has captured the attention of another group besides the companies directly involved in the power industry: lobbyists. At least 95 companies, K Street firms, local governments and nonprofit groups have notified Congress of their intention to lobby on the smart-grid issue since President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaObama: 'Stop to reflect' on Memorial Day John Bolton slams Obama’s ‘shameful apology tour’ Miss. governor to join lawsuit against Obama transgender policy MORE’s inauguration.

Why? Money. The administration made the development of the green economy central to its economic recovery package. The $787 billion stimulus included $4.5 billion to the Energy Department for smart grid efforts, and another $16 billion for other energy-efficiency and renewable efforts.

GridWeek lasts until Thursday, when Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is to give closing remarks. Energy Secretary Steven Chu opened the conference by announcing new DoE smart-grid grants.