Smart grid is a technology for reliable integration and intelligent control of multiple generation units where the loads spread across a non-uniform or a uniform distribution network. The basic frame work of a smart grid is made to ease the complexity of integration of Distributed Renewable Energy Sources (DRES) with greater grid penetration, reduction of transmission losses, optimized energy capacity expansion with better demand side management and hierarchical control for grid security. Smart grids consists of four unique features which can be given as Integration, Control, Communication and Metering (ICCM). Integration refers to connection of heterogeneous type of energy sources with AC or DC grid using appropriate converters. Power output of the DRES is dependent on climatic conditions like wind speed and solar irradiance. Controls in smart grids are made intelligent to extract the maximum power from the sources, operational scheduling of energy sources and overloads, control of transients, real and reactive power. For effective operation of the diverse smart grid, communication between various control nodes is necessary. Communication standards for smart grids usually are set by protocols, and most of them involve the interconnection of Secure Communication Line (SCL) to the main control unit by LAN (Local Area Network), HAN (Home Area Network), and WAN (Wide Area Network). The interconnection should be accompanied with a firewall at various levels for the cyber security of the smart grid. Smart metering employed in smart grids provides additional information of the electrical energy consumed compared to conventional energy meters. Smart metering can measure the energy parameters of the load remotely and transfer the data through the communication network. This paper presents different methods of ICCM in smart grid. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.