In the United States, electricity is generally something that we take for granted. We flip a switch and a light illuminates the room. Yet the system behind that switch is extremely complex and increasingly inefficient. Luckily, entrepreneurs, utility owners, and policymakers are collaborating to address such inefficiencies with the application of digital technology. The smart grid. You’ve probably heard the term before. In this four-part series, we will explore what exactly the smart grid is, why our current grid is inadequate, how we will benefit from a smart energy grid, and exactly where we stand today in upgrading our electrical grid. The final section will also look at what this all means for solar energy. First, let’s try to understand what the news media and policymakers mean when they talk about the smart grid.