5.3 Million Smart Meters to be Installed by Southern California Edison

image: Southern California Edison
Southern California Edison announced last Friday that 4.8 million of its customers will reap the benefits of its news $1.63 billion smart-metering program. Some 5.3 million meters will be installed (some customers will get more than one meter) by the California utility between 2009 and 2012. Unsure as to how smart metering will work or why utilities are investing in it? SCE explains:

Meter Communicates With Utility to Save Power & Money
SCE has a handy-dandy PDF explaining smart metering, but this is the gist of it,

The Edison SmartConnect system will allow customers with communicating, energy-smart thermostats and appliances to automatically respond during critical peak pricing and grid reliability events. This will reduce the overall peak power consumption by an estimated 1,000 megawatts — the entire output of a major power plant. SCE's new meters will also be able to "talk" through home area networks, providing customers with near real-time energy use and cost information to enable energy conservation.

The Edison SmartConnect system has the ability to provide the information from the meter into the home through a two-way wireless interface allowing customers to immediately see how their actions affect usage. The result is expected to increase sustained energy conservation that will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants by a minimum of 365,000 metric tons per year — the equivalent of removing 79,000 cars from the road. The system will make remote service activations possible, enabling the approximate 1 million SCE customers who relocate each year to activate service on demand. It will also support widespread adoption of solar installations, plug in hybrid vehicles, energy storage, and other clean technologies that will drive greater environmental benefits.

Increasingly, many people are saying that upgrading the United States' power transmission grid, including turning it all into a smart grid (a big task...), will be a key factor in enabling the full potential of renewable energy to be reached.

More information is available at the SCE :: SmartConnect website.

via :: Greentech Media
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Tags: California | Electricity | Energy Efficiency | United States