The combination of energy efficiency and information technology is helping to lay the groundwork for the advancement of the smart grid by offering utilities unprecedented visibility into their networks, but experts say the transition is still in its infancy. During a recent energy summit in Washington, D.C., industry professionals spoke about the rise of smart buildings, but noted that deploying next-generation into existing premises remains a challenge. "There's a lot [of efficiency] out there and we need to get it with a different framework," said Chuck Leitner, chairman of the Greenprint Foundation.

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