An electricity grid without adequate communications is simply a power distributor.

It is through the addition of two-way communications that the power grid is made "smart." However, until recently the lack of cost-effective, standardized communications that can deliver the bandwidth, reliability and security that the smart grid needs has hampered the progress and implementation of the smart grid worldwide.

G3-PLC™ was developed to meet the industry's need for a potentially ubiquitous powerline communications standard that will enable the smart grid vision. G3-PLC facilitates high-speed, highly-reliable, long-range communication over the existing powerline grid. With the ability to cross transformers, infrastructure costs are reduced and with its support of IPv6, G3-PLC will support powerline communications into the future.

Two-way communications networks based on G3-PLC will provide electricity network operators with intelligent monitoring and control capabilities. Operators will be able to monitor electricity consumption throughout the grid in real time, implement variable tariff schedules, and set limits on electricity consumption to better manage peak loads.

In turn, consumers will have real-time visibility into their electricity consumption, thus promoting demand-side conservation. With the addition of variable tariff schedules, users will be encouraged to reduce electricity consumption during peak usage times.

Ultimately, intelligent network management techniques provide a smarter solution for the environment. Rather than build more power plants to support worst-case scenarios, network operators will be able to optimally utilize existing resources. At the same time, demand-side management will function as a form of indirect generation by better balancing the distribution of loads.