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Money will be dolled out in $400,000 to $200M chunks and comes from the $787 billion economic stimulus package

President Obama is making good on several of his promises from his campaign and one of the big pushes is for cleaner power. Obama isn’t simply stopping at trying to get electric companies to find new sources of power including wind and solar power, the President is looking to help Americans monitor their energy consumption and reduce the amount of electricity used in homes.

Obama announced a new $3.4 billion plan to revamp the U.S. electrical grid and launch a new era of renewable energy consumption. The new plan was unveiled as Obama toured the nation's largest solar energy plant. The funds will help the U.S. to build a new "smart energy grid" that will help cut costs and improve reliability of the existing electrical grid in America.

Obama said, "We need to do more than just add solar megawatts to this electrical grid." He continued saying, "This grid still runs on century-old technology. It wastes too much energy and costs us too much money and it's too susceptible to outages and blackouts."

Carol Browner, Obama's special assistant on energy and climate change predicts that the program will have a, "transformational impact on how electricity is generated, delivered, and consumed." She added, "We have a very antiquated system in this country. We need to upgrade that system, we need to modernize that system, and with it will come tremendous benefits for consumers and for our environment."

The grants for the new smart grid program will range from $400,000 to $200 million and will be granted to 100 different firms, manufacturers, and cities. The total funds for the program are drawn from the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

Officials within the Obama administration claim that the new program will create tens of thousands of jobs and lay the foundation for a green energy infrastructure in the United States. An analysis from research firm Electric Power Research Institute estimates that the use of a new smart grid could shave energy usage in the country by 4% amounting to $20.4 billion saved.

The grant funds will finance the installation of a million in-home displays, 170,000 smart thermostats, and 175,000 load control devices. Some projects are also supplemented with funds from private companies.

California has a statewide plan to save energy in place already.





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