The term Smart Grid has been in use since 1975. Most broadly, the term refers to applying Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to the power grid. The grid is a vast, interconnected network for delivering electric power to consumers. The common element binding the electric “network” together is copper. But in a real sense the electric power system cannot really be described as a network. It is a collection of generating plants, transmission and distribution and indoor wires and plugs, with a vast array of electromechanical transformers, circuit breakers, meters, electric panels, appliances and other end-user devices that cannot communicate. A $200 cell phone has significantly more network intelligence than a distribution transformer or an electric service panel.
The Smart Grid is the convergence of energy and Information and Communications Technologies, or e + ICT.