Studies published over the past several years report impressive returns on smart grid investments. However, these studies reflect cost/benefit evaluations and models that, for many reasons, cannot be applied directly to evaluate individual utility investments. The lack of a standard, commonly accepted utility-level cost/benefit framework has led to a number of utility smart grid investment analysis approaches that poorly serve utility decision-makers. This paper describes the challenge utilities face in developing comprehensive investment strategies and identifies difficulties associated with several common approaches to smart grid investment analysis. The final section presents ten investment analysis recommendations based on the Smart Grid Research Consortium’s cost/benefit model that has been applied at 15 utilities. These recommendations are offered both to guide utility in-house analysis and to assist utilities in evaluating smart grid analysis undertaken by vendors and consultants.