The Board of Directors of the GridWise Alliance has announced the formation of GRID 21, a new non-profit committed to engaging electricity customers in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption.

GRID 21 will provide programs, tools, and information to consumers about smart grid; promote the development and deployment of diverse tools; and ensure that impacts and benefits are carefully measured. Building on the work of the GridWise Alliance, GRID 21 will provide the platform for a variety of programs around the country that are uniquely created to meet regional and local priorities and needs.

For example, GRID 21 announced Biggest Energy Saver Campaign in conjunction with the Obama Administration’s unveiling of its new smart grid framework.

“GRID 21 is a natural outgrowth of the GridWise Alliance’s efforts to create a new strategy for the organization and to find effective ways to increase its impact directly with the industry,” said Steve Hauser, a founding member of the GridWise Alliance and Vice President of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Hauser has been charged with leading the formation of GRID 21.

The power industry has been diligently working to determine the policies, programs and initiatives needed to maximize the benefits from smart grid investments. One of the emerging challenges is the need to better engage consumers in building the new, 21st Century Grid.