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Electricity Grid Cybersecurity Will Be Expensive – Who Will Pay, And How Much?

Electricity Grid Cybersecurity Will Be Expensive – Who Will Pay, And How Much?

Recently, a neighbor asked one of us whether Russia, China, North Korea and Iran really are capable of hacking into the computers that control the U.S. electricity grid. The answer, based on available evidence, is “Yes.” The follow-up question was, “How expensive will it be to prevent, and who will end up paying for it?”

The answers are: Likely tens of billions of dollars, and probably us, the electricity customers. This is a major – and, in our view, vital – investment in community and national security. But as scholars of grid cybersecurity, we understand it’s not very clear what consumers will be getting for their money, nor whether utility companies themselves should bear some share of the cost.

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