1. Austin, Texas
Supported with a $10.4 million smart grid demonstration grant from the Department of Energy, and another $14 million from its research partners, the Pecan Street Project is centered on a community around the abandoned Mueller municipal airport three miles from downtown.
The 700-acre initiative across 500 homes is testing distributed clean energy, energy storage, water and irrigation systems, smart appliances, plug-in electric vehicles, green building approaches, advanced home energy metering and new electricity pricing models. In August, it announced plans to facilitate a San Diego research project to measure residential electricity consumption down to the individual circuit and appliance level.
State capitol building by Jo Ann Snover via Shutterstock