From AOL Energy: Major privacy and security problems for the smart-grid effort could be on the horizon and present a host of challenges to federal agencies, according to multiple smart-grid technology and policy experts.

Funding and deployment during what some call the "smart grid gold rush" has vastly outstripped the federal government's ability to develop meaningful privacy and security standards and regulations within one of the nation's most critical infrastructures.

The uncertainty about what agency is responsible for securing the grid comes as smart grid technology deployment continues at breakneck pace. At least 25 states have already adopted smart grid policies and started deployments of electronic smart meters for homes, businesses and major metropolitan areas. And this so-called smart grid "gold rush" has already encountered several significant security breaches.

Privacy concerns are another aspect of the smart grid plan driving security. Although many states are beginning to put pressure on technology developers and local utilities to ensure they meet certain security standards for protecting personal data, there has been little or no effort at the federal level to ensure compliance.