Smart grid improves reliability of the electric grid system through the reduction in the frequency and interval of power outages. Additionally, smart grids lessen the occurrence of power quality disturbances, as well as the reduced likelihood of regional blackouts. Smart grid technologies assist in the attenuation of electricity prices via demand side and supply side interactions. This enhances marketplace competitiveness among electricity distribution companies. Smart grids can provide retailers with platforms for newer products and services. This provides better consumer options and suppleness in energy consumption and generates value for energy consumers. Smart grids improve operational efficiency in grid operations for effective services for consumers. Smart grids improve security and safety against gird system vulnerabilities. They uphold environmental quality through the provision of cleaner and low-carbon emissions (Astar, 2008).
"Hidden switch" sensor applications are interesting through their mechanism for maintenance. The sensors offer maintenance teams with the capability of fastening the display modes for meters from the standard operating modes to the diagnostic modes, which enable on-site maintenance potentials without any physical dismantling of the metering system (Kutsche, 2011).
The initial implementation costs for the smart grid system is extremely high depending on the technologies employed within the grid system. However, considering that benefits associated with the smart grid system, the implementation costs ought to be overcome over time. The fact that the smart grid system will ensure effectiveness and reliability on the grid system will generate greater benefits with reduced power outages and blackouts, which have negative influences on the manufacturing and production sectors. According to EPRI estimates, the benefits from the smart grid system have heightened to around $1.2 to $2 trillion with the implementation costs being $338 to $476 billion (Merritt, 2011). Therefore, the benefits from the smart grid system have overcome the implementation costs with the increased efficiency and reliability of these systems.