After spending the first half of this year at a near-perfect four-star rank, National Grid (NYSE: NGG) has enticed enough top-performing members of our 165,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community to vote it back up once again to five stars. A total of 416 members have given their opinion on the power infrastructure firm, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

With National Grid's dominant position in the U.K. and a strong regional presence in the U.S., CAPS members look for solid performance from the high-yielding utility. It plans to invest big money over the next five years in the U.K., helped in part by a recent $4.6 billion rights issue that spooked many investors and dealt a hit to its share price. But it delivers strong returns on equity, and some CAPS members see the dip as an opportunity rather than a reason to sell. The company reported a 47% jump in its fiscal full-year earnings and has a bullish outlook for earnings growth this year. And the improving bottom line of National Grid has it on track to meet its 8% dividend growth policy to 2012. And investors already like its hefty 8.5% dividend yield compared to yields in the 5% range from other utilities Southern Company (NYSE: SO) and Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

Rising electricity demand in the Northeast U.S., where National Grid serves more than 3 million customers, could also bode well for the company as peers such as PPL (NYSE: PPL), Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED), and Allegheny Energy (NYSE: AYE) have seen increasing demand in the region, too. Hot summer temperatures have also prompted the U.S. Energy Information Administration to increase its 2010 growth estimates for U.S. power consumption to 0.4%.    

Some CAPS members also expect National Grid to benefit more from renewable energy sources going forward. It recently completed its own solar generation site in Massachusetts using panels from Evergreen Solar (Nasdaq: ESLR), and is set to buy half of the output of a new wind farm off the Cape Cod coast.

Do you think National Grid deserves its raised status? Add your thoughts in the comments box below on this page, or head over to CAPS to rate the company and check out all the information and opinions the community offers, absolutely free.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service looks for companies with strong management poised to beat the market over the long haul. To see all the stocks that have helped Tom and David Gardner beat the market by 63 points on average, take a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his go cart with a new buggy whip. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Duke Energy, National Grid, and Southern are Income Investor recommendations. The Fool's disclosure policy has a unibrow.