Thursday, August 07, 2008

Smart Meter Rollout

PG&E's Smart Meter program rollout is moving forward. The $1.7 billion effort to install new meters that provide consumers with real-time data about their energy usage, in theory will prompt customers to change their usage habits and conserve electricity.

The cost of the meters themselves is about $450 million and approximately 5 million customers will get them over a three to four year period.

According to Dow Jones:

"In addition, utilities can ostensibly have more control over power flows and more insight into where there are problems across their transmission and distribution networks.

Utilities view the installation of smart metering as one of the steps on the road to a more automated power grid that can deliver power more efficiently to customers..."

A recent sutdy by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Edison Electric Institute estimates that the meters could reduce electric consumption by 7% to 11%.