Microgrids represent ambitious development for energy efficiency

On July 24, Connecticut took an ambitious step forward for energy efficiency supporters when state government officials announced plans for its Microgrid Pilot Program, which seeks to upgrade the strength and reliability of electricity grids during severe weather. If successful, the initiative could have positive repercussions for power demands across the entire country.

As green news outlet Earth Techling reports, microgrids are "small-scale electricity generation and distribution systems" that utilize various energy resources so that they can be used locally, and even independently from the main grid. The concept of building a microgrid within an existing power grid has gained momentum in light of recent natural disasters and cyber threats that have prompted a desire for increased security of local power sources.

After Hurricane Irene cut through the mid-Atlantic coast in 2011, leaving a series of crippling blackouts in its wake, state lawmakers tasked the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) with putting a microgrid project into action – a program that gained further support after Hurricane Sandy struck just one year later. Toward the end of 2012, DEEP reported that three dozen cities, schools, hospitals and businesses across Connecticut applied for involvement in the $18 million Microgrid Pilot. Once the project has been fully implemented, these areas will be able to make use of renewable power on a 24/7 basis without having to rely on the larger electricity grid.

If the program is declared a success, it could make sustainable lifestyles dramatically more practical while making green resources more available. 

Virginia residents interested in taking steps for energy efficient homes of their own are encouraged to meet with Virginia home inspectors who will analyze how your property uses energy and what measures can be taken to improve efficiency, which could ultimately reduce utility expenses.