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 Hussein ObamaOvernight Cybersecurity: What we learned from Carter Page's House Intel testimony | House to mark up foreign intel reform law | FBI can't access Texas shooter's phone | Sessions to testify at hearing amid Russia scrutiny Russian social media is the modern-day Trojan horse Trump records robo-call for Gillespie: He'll help 'make America great again' 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.