How curious, the profit motive trumping the public good under the current structure of the energy market. But there's actually another lesson embedded in this story, in which the profit motive and the public good are aligned. It goes like this.
The $70 billion of potential savings creates sufficient incentive to move the nation to Smart Grid technology. The effort would be an engine of economic development and job creation. Think of all the people that will be needed to install these simple devices. Think of all the software IBM could license. Think of all the home gateways that Invensys could sell. Think of the competing products that would hit the market.
And think of the civic engagement this would engender, with consumers encouraged to make intelligent choices on the Smart Grid -- to save money and save energy -- instead of being manipulated into purchasing products nobody really needs, for the sake of consumption.