In Austin, Texas, the Pecan Street Smart Grid Demonstration Program project shows that the environmentally friendly lifestyle of the future is possible now, in the form of the 711-acre, green Mueller neighborhood. On the former grounds of the airport, Mueller is only three miles from downtown Austin. In today's fast-paced world, Mueller residents enjoy a hybrid small-town, high-tech lifestyle, with houses and businesses linked to each other by bike paths, and to utility companies by the smart grid.
Since 2010, researchers have connected 1,200 homes to the smart grid, providing real-time data to users and researchers. Scientists from the University of Texas, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Environmental Defense Fund are collaborating on the project, which received a $24.6M grant of which $10.4M was the federal share from the Department of Energy. Other partners include Austin Energy; OnStar; and General Motors, who, together, provided $14.2M in matching funds.