Advantages of “Smart Grid” technology include helping to avoid, reduce or mitigate power outages by monitoring and communicating area power usages, including any anomalies, continually back to the power company. When outages occur their locations are automatically reported, attempts automatically made to isolate, or “island” problem locations, if possible and also to shunt any available power from adjacent substation grids, whenever or wherever possible, to as many customers as possible who might otherwise be in the dark.

But having remote sensing and remote and automatic response capability also improves everyday load management. One notices subtle changes in the brightness of light bulbs when adjustments are made by adding or dropping power sources to meet changing power drain from hour to hour throughout the day and night, for instance. Multi-tap transformers and banks of capacitors can be switched to optimize efficiency by matching changing loads at the substation level. [30] “Smart Grid” automation means this can be extended remotely, out to the neighborhood substation level where capacitors were manually switched in or out seasonally to match anticipated neighborhood peak demands. Such capacitors can compensate for localized under voltages by raising the average voltage by 1% to 2% but such is overcompensation for hours of lighter demand during peak seasonal use periods; their insertion under lighter loads deforms the sine-wave from its optimal shape for driving motors.