Smart Grid pilot and demonstration programs are underway in 33 states, according to a new report, “Smart Grid Growing Pains” from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. According to the report, utilities around the country face a number of challenges that need to be managed to ensure project costs are contained, cross-industry alliances are functional and customers are engaged.

“We’re seeing signs in the utility and power-generation industry that suggest regulator and customer interactions and technology and business alliances will rapidly evolve as these massive infrastructure projects are executed. These factors could, in some ways, redefine the way utilities will do business going forward,” said David Etheridge at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Rate cases are on the increase as utilities try to find ways to manage investments and project costs. Utilities are forming alliances with the auto and tech industries, adding several layers of operational complexity. And the biggest question of all is whether customers will embrace or reject smart grid technology.”

A download of the complete report is available at www.pwc.com.