Every dollar earmarked for smart-grid development in the U.S. yields more than $2 in return in economic output, according to an Energy Department analysis that finds the gross-domestic-product payoff for smart-energy programs exceeds that of many other government-funded projects. The report, "Economic Impact of Recovery Act Investments in the Smart Grid," found that funding for smart-grid projects also has a beneficial effect on employment, generating jobs growth in industries such as computer systems design, equipment manufacturing and consulting.

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