With the great expectations for smart grid, and billions of dollars in smart grid grants to be divvied up under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commissions are looking for value in the concept and trying to determine what consumers will get in return for their money. Bottom line: Smart grids should be accompanied by smart policies or their full potential will not be realized and the cost to consumers will exceed the benefits. Like the Internet, another communications technology, it all comes down to content. Smart policies create the content for smart grids and should not lag behind their roll-out. A smart grid without smart policies is anything but smart.