Eventually, the hope is that we energy users will be able to interact with the smart grid like we do with the internet - getting the most up-to-date information to make informed choices about when and how we use electricity.
Some utilities and cities have already begun experimenting with smart grids. For example, Xcel Energy is working with the city of Boulder, Colorado to construct more than 100 miles of fiber optic cables and install 15,000 smart meters. Once the system is in place, 10,000 Boulder residents will be able to track their energy use online. They will even be able to time the use of their electricity for when the power is the least expensive (typically at night).