The political push for smart grid and smart meter technology in the US began with The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) that mandates improved efficiency of buildings, vehicles, buildings, light bulbs and other products.  EISA also includes extensive provisions relating to smart grids and smart metering. The law
directs states to encourage utilities to initiate smart grid programs, allows recovery of smart grid investments through utility rates, and reimbursed 20% of qualifying smart grid investments.
“In 2008, Massachusetts passed the Green Communities Act (the Act), which contained a Smart Grid provision. Section 85 of the Act required each electric distribution company to file a proposed plan for a smart grid pilot program with the department of public utilities. The Act required a specific objective of the pilot program be to reduce peak and average loads by a minimum of 5 per cent for those customers participating in the pilot.” [12a]
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided $4.5 billion to develop smart grid infrastructure in the U.S. [12b] and includes funding to motivate installation of wireless smart meters (aka “Advanced Metering Infrastructure” or “AMI”) by offering up to 50% cost sharing to utilities that would adopt such meters. §405 of The Stimulus (2009 Recovery Act) amends The Energy Bill of 2007 to reimburse electric utilities up to 50% of their investment costs into advanced smart grid demonstration projects. [12c] Sections pertinent to smart metering are summarized here:
National Grid US First proposed its $45 million pilot for Worcester in 2008 as part of the Green Communities Act. The federal government, as part of its $4.5 billion for Grid modernization projects made a Smart Grid Investment Grant for “Customer Systems” in Central Mass. in 2009.
In 2009 NG posted plans on Google for smart grid projects with smart meter deployments in Worcester, Syracuse, Albany and Newport areas. There are 270 Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) projects worldwide. Such megaprojects are meant to increase efficiency primarily from a central generation and distribution perspective as in the paradigm we have had since the dawn of electric power.