For those of you catching the occasional flash that something new is coming to your utility bill, here's a nice narrative description that may bring it to life for you. However, as someone who's been looking at all the moving parts of what's called the smart grid, including the security considerations, I can't help but feel it wouldn't be hyperbole to call it the mother of all projects. It's so complicated and requires so many different engineering disciplines it's not even funny. OK, that makes it super interesting too.
For those who are interested in learning more, the Smart Grid News site is a good resource for getting (and keeping) up to speed with the key players and developments.