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The energy community is starting to combine Information and Communications Technology (ICT) with the electric power grid. This "Smart grid" is a data communications network integrated with the power grid that collects and analyzes data captured in near real-time about power transmission, distribution, and consumption. Based on this data, smart grid technology then provides predictive information and recommendations to utilities, their suppliers, and their customers on how best to manage power delivery and consumption. Having near real-time information and recommendations allows utilities to manage the entire electricity system as an integrated framework, actively sensing and responding to changes in power demand, supply, costs, quality, and emissions across various locations and devices.
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