Within the next year, SCE will introduce new pricing plans, programs and services. In the second half of 2010 and beyond, once the advanced features are fully activated, the meters will be enabled to communicate with the next generation of smart thermostats, appliances and other devices.
The first smart meter in the Edison SmartConnect program was installed last September in Downey, Calif., with installations continuing through 2012 to total nearly 5 million SCE residential and small-business customers in the utility’s 50,000-square-mile service territory. To date, SCE has installed more than 800,000 meters.
Ken Devore, director of SCE’s Edison SmartConnect program, says, “Over the past several years, we have focused on developing an industry-leading smart meter program, including extensive testing of our smart meters and associated systems to ensure their quality and performance. Smart meters will empower our customers to become better managers of their electricity usage through new tools, programs and services that will help them save energy, money, and the environment.”
Edison SmartConnect is a $1.6 billion program authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. SCE anticipates customers’ use of the information provided by the new meters will reduce demand on the electricity grid by about 1,000 megawatts, the amount of energy produced at an average power plant. Sustained energy conservation resulting from customer response to their energy use information is also expected to 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.
SCE has contracted with Corix Utilities, Inc. to perform most of the installations.