In the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Paul Joskow writes,

a sensible deployment strategy is to combine a long-run plan for rolling out smart-grid investments with well-designed pilots and experiments. Using randomized trials of smart grid technology and pricing, with a robust set of treatments and the “rest of the distribution grid” as the control, would allow much more confidence in estimates of demand response, meter and grid costs, reliability and power quality benefifi ts, and other key outcomes. …Given the large investments contemplated in smart meters and complementary investments, along with the diverse uncertainties that we now face, rushing to deploy a particular set of technologies as quickly as possible is in my view a mistake.

Of course, Manzi’s forthcoming book argues that experiments ought to be used more often in public policy analysis.

Speaking of forthcoming books, two self-recommending efforts are due to be released, perhaps by the time you read this: The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt and The Blueprint, from Gary Kasparov and two Paypal Mafia members.