This paper sets out Consumer Futures’ initial position on smart grids, which we hope to develop further. Although primarily a set of technological changes to the way in which our electricity networks function, smart grids will affect domestic consumers in a variety of ways, and consumer engagement will be vital to achieve maximum benefits. The paper includes discussion of complex, or ‘smart’, demand-side response (DSR). Although not limited to grid-based solutions, smart DSR is included in a wider definition of the smart grid, and is a major part of the current national and European policy discourse around this. It is a key element of the impact that smart technologies will have on consumers in the future. Some types of smart DSR could be made possible simply through smart meters, without changes to the grid, but it is as yet unclear whether the communications infrastructure for smart meters will enable this.