More than 640,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines in the lower 48 states' power grids are at full capacity.
Facts & Quotes
There are over 85 million smart meters deployed across America. Smart meters help to improve reliability and resiliency to electric consumers.
The cummulative investment gap for electricity - including for transmission and distribution - is estimated to be $208 billion between 2019 and 2029 and climbs to $338 billion by 2039.
As a result of aging infrastructure, severe weather events, and attacks and vandalism, in 2015 Americans experienced a reported 3,571 outages, with an average duration of 49 minutes.
Much of the U.S. energy system predates the turn of the 20th century. Most electric transmission and distribution lines were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s with a life expectancy of 50 years.
According to the US Department of Energy, a fully functioning smart grid will mean improved reliability, better efficiency and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
About 51% of the generating capacity of the US is in plants that were at least 30 years old at the end of 2010. Most gas-fired capacity is less than 10 years old, while 73% of all coal-fired capacity is 30 years or older.7 Moreover, nationally, 70% of transmission lines and power transformers are 25 years or older, while 60% of circuit breakers are more than 30 years old.
In 2000, the one-hour outage that hit the Chicago Board of Trade resulted in $20 trillion in trades delayed.
If every American household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, the country would conserve enough energy to light 3 million homes and save more than $600 million annually.
Since 1982, growth in peak demand for electricity – driven by population growth, bigger houses, bigger TVs, more air conditioners and more computers – has exceeded transmission growth by almost 25% every year.
Today’s electricity system is 99.97 percent reliable, yet still allows for power outages and interruptions that cost Americans at least $150 billion each year — about $500 for every man, woman and child.
Between 2003 and 2012, roughly 679 power outages, each affecting at least 50,000 customers, occurred due to weather events.