What's the Buzz on Smart Grids?

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Individual Project Unit 1
Deborah Winnie
American Intercontinental University

Today’s businesses are relying more and more on information technologies to be successful. This essay will answer the case study questions in regard to smart grids, the collaboration and innovation at Procter & Gamble, and just how much credit card companies know about us. Also the perils of texting will be discussed.

Individual Project 1
In order for businesses to be successful in today’s society, they must invest in information technologies. These technologies can be a very large investment for a company so managers must make smart decisions when choosing what is best for their company’s success. This essay will answer the questions for case studies in the textbook regarding smart grids, collaboration and innovation at Procter & Gamble, how much credit card companies know about their customers, and the perils of texting. What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids case study?

Smart grids are different than the electricity infrastructure currently used in that a smart grid uses digital technology to deliver electricity from the supplier to the consumer. This use of digital technology saves energy, reduces costs, and is much more reliable. Because smart grids allow information to flow from the consumer to the electric providers, better decisions can be made by both parties regarding production, consumption, and pricing. Another difference is that smart grids are able to quickly and precisely detect the source of power outages.

One of the issues that should be considered when developing a smart grid is the cost. According to Laudon & Laudon (2012), estimated costs are running as high as seventy-five billion dollars and the cost of each meter is estimated to costs between two hundred fifty to five hundred dollars. Before spending this much money, energy companies must consider the consumer’s willingness to foot the bill. The privacy issue must also be considered because individual consumers may not be willing or able to use the Web portals or to let their energy provider have control of their high-use appliances such as heat and air conditioning. They must also consider the risk of cyberattacks.

The largest challenge to the development of smart grids will be the consumer. Consumers are already conserving energy in their homes by using energy efficient appliances, adjusting thermostats, and even using more energy efficient light bulbs in light fixtures. The use of smart grids will give energy providers access to their customers heating and air-conditioning thermostats and most people consider that an invasion of their privacy. Another problem is the cost. Consumers will not like it if they have to foot the bill in order for this new technology to be used mainly because in today’s economy individual households cannot afford the additional costs. It is hard enough to pay the bills every month and more people are out of work than ever before.

Another area of our infrastructure that could benefit from smart technologies is water utilities. With the increase in water prices and environmental concerns, better ways to manage water usage must be found. Smart technology used for water utilities will work hand-in-hand with electric smart grids. According to Smartly Does It (2011), smart grids will enable two way communications between utilities and their customers and will also reduce water waste and inefficiencies. Today more water is treated to drinking standards than is necessary and the use of smart technologies will enable water treatment plants to reduce this and by doing this can reduce costs. (Smartly does it, 2011)

I do not believe I would like my home or community to be part of a smart grid mainly because of the initial costs. In my opinion, a huge undertaking such as this will be very costly not only to the electric provider but to the consumer. The energy providers will not be able to convert...
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