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In this work, we apply a change-point detection approach to power quality (PQ) monitoring in smart grids. Capitalizing on change-point detection theory with unknown parameters, a sequential cumulative sum (CUSUM)-based scheme is developed with an objective to provide quick and accurate detection of PQ event occurrence in real time. The proposed CUSUM-based scheme evaluates the weighted likelihood ratios by exploiting both the instantaneous and the long-term information of the power waveform. It is shown by computer simulations that the proposed CUSUM-based scheme can achieve a significant performance gain over conventional detection schemes.