A letter to the president from The Climate Group and Google stated unequivocally that "studies show" that direct feedback on energy use can lead consumers to conserve energy. An unrelated webinar reflected a more complex reality.
I've yammered on about "synchronicity" - intuitive links between seemingly disparate events - but I've concluded, as the Twilight Zone theme song faded, that the smart grid is simply in land grab mode and there's just lots going on.
My new paradigm for intuitive links between seemingly disparate events is juxtaposition, which to me implies contrasts.
On Monday, a diverse lot of dozens upon dozens of vendors, environmental organizations, telecommunications firms, appliance makers, venture capitalists and retailers, under the imprimatur of The Climate Group and Google, sent a letter  to President Barack Obama concerning one key driver for demand management.
(Sampling of the "undersigned": AT&T, Best Buy, Dow, eMeter, Environmental Defense Fund, General Electric, Google, Intel, Itron, Nokia, U.S. Green Building Council, Whirlpool, etc. I take this as proof that demand management is worth billions to many, disparate parties.)
"We are writing to ask that your Administration adopt the goal of giving every household and business access to timely, useful and actionable information on their energy use," the letter read, in part. "Studies and experience show that when people have access to direct feedback on their electricity use, they can achieve significant savings through simple behavioral changes."
Hold two pieces of that last statement in mind for a moment and we'll return to them: "studies and experience show" and "[consumers] can achieve significant savings."
The letter suggested that if all U.S. households saved 15 percent on their energy use by 2020, the greenhouse gas savings would be equivalent to taking 35 million cars off the road and would save consumers $46 billion on energy bills, or $360 per customer per year.
The letter suggested that consumers should have real-time data on the sources and causes of electricity consumption, pricing and pricing plans and information on generation sources. The letter also suggested how this might be achieved.
That was Monday. Yesterday, The Climate Group and Google c