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There are significant challenges as well as great opportunities for research at both policy and technology levels on the efficient use of energy. Most existing power generation and distribution systems are based on a century old mechanism where power grids are managed by vertically integrated utilities. Intelligent power grids known as smart grids are required as the demand for energy continues to grow and more and more emphasis is being placed on the supply of renewable energy. The main ingredient of smart grids is the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) into the grids to monitor and regulate power generation and demand. This article provides an overview of demand management with a particular focus on the necessary enabling wireless technologies. Various mechanisms and algorithms for the optimal demand management in smart grids using these wireless technologies are also reviewed.