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Colorado "Smart Home" Cuts 30 Percent Of Energy Use (VIDEO)

First Posted: 03/21/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:05 PM ET

"Smart grids" and "smart homes" are new discussions nationally -- and exciting ones, at that -- but some towns have been speaking that language for a long time.

Boulder, Colo., for example, passed the nation's first municipal carbon tax, and now it's the site of a very interesting smart home that communicates with the utility company to more intelligently use energy.

It's partially thanks to a utility company willing to invest in a smart grid:

In March, Xcel announced it would invest $100 million to update Boulder's electricity grid, allowing for two-way communication between the customer and the electricity provider. In its most basic form, a smart grid allows Xcel to know how much power individual houses are drawing at any given moment, something that can't be done on a standard grid. As a result, Xcel should be able to better anticipate overloads, respond more quickly to power outages and, eventually, produce less reserve power, lowering its carbon footprint.

NBC Nightly News checked it out:

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Filed by Dave Burdick  |