The smart grid is the evolution of our current electrical grid, using new technology to optimize the conservation and delivery of power. All told, the smart grid promises to increase the efficiency of today’s system by around 9% by 2030, saving more than 400 billion kilowatt-hours each year. That’s huge. That means we could save $42 billion in year 1 and as we keep saving energy, its value each year only increases.
The "grid" refers to our nation's electric power infrastructure. Smart grid is the application of information technology, tools and techniques that can make the grid run more efficiently. The current electric grid is highly inefficient and very much in need of modernization.