Â Southern California Edison Installs First of 5 Million ‘Smart’ Meters
Southern California Edison hopes to lighten the load on the power grid with its new “smart meters,” the first of which was installed today at a customer’s home in Downey.
The meter is the first of 5 million the utility plans to put in under Edison’s Smart Connect program. The goal of the $1.6 billion initiative is to reduce power usage by 1,000 megawatts, the amount of energy produced by an average power plant.
Installation of the meter took between five and 10 minutes, said SCE’s Vanessa McGrady. When the program swings into high gear, the utility hopes to install up to 8,500 meters a day, she said.
According to Edison, the “digital, secure, two-way communicating meters will measure electricity usage up-to-the minute and, when fully implemented, will enable customers to track how much they use, and how much it costs them.”
The program for residential and small-business customers in the utility’s 50,000-square-mile territory will continue through 2012.
Supplied by Itron Inc., the smart meters are designed to communicate with the next generation of “smart” thermostats, appliances and other devices, according to Edison.
The new meters allow remote activation of electric service at customers’ convenience, and help them “make informed decisions about their energy use,” according to the company.
SCE contracted with Corix Utilities Inc. to perform most of the installations. Customers will be notified by mail in advance when installations are scheduled in their neighborhood. They do not need to be home, but they do need to provide clear access to their meter.
More information is available online at www.sce.com/smartconnect.