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The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) says it is launching an effort to ensure that electric distribution companies adopt grid-modernization technology and practices that will enhance electric service reliability and enable electric customers to better manage their electricity use.

Modernizing the electric grid will reduce the frequency and duration of customer outages due to storms and other events. The DPU will also examine how electric-grid modernization can lower the overall costs of electricity and improve service to customers.

In addition, the study will explore the potential for the deployment of technologies such as smart meters, smart appliances and cell-phone applications in order to enable customers to respond to changes in the price of electricity throughout the course of a day.

The DPU will form a Grid Modernization Stakeholder Working Group to assist in developing a road map for advancing grid modernization in Massachusetts. The process will begin with a public workshop on Nov. 14.


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