The introduction of smart meters in a community in Fairfax California has sparked a revolt in protest to planned installation amongst some of the population. The utility company involved, Pacific Gas & Electric Company and its partners realise that opposition to the meters may have stemmed from a lack of communication and education programmes.
In regulatory proceedings involving business cases for advanced metering infrastructure, the benefits of dynamic pricing often play a prominent role. Several studies have shown that dynamic pricing can provide substantial benefits to utilities and customers. It does so by lowering peak demand during hours when the power system is experiencing critical conditions such as extremely high prices or threats to reliability. Hence, dynamic pricing results in avoiding expensive capacity and energy costs in the long term and lowering wholesale market prices in the short term.
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today released forty-five reports, dating back to August 2006, that provide a detailed look inside the company’s SmartMeter™ program. No other utility in California is reporting on its meter conversion program as often or in as much detail. The reports are located on PG&E’s website at www.pge.com/SmartMeterCPUCreports.
PG&E has been providing these reports to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), as well as the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (an independent division of the Commission that advocates on behalf of customers), since the beginning of PG&E’s SmartMeter™ program.
California was the first state in the US to move ahead with full-scale deployment of smart meters. That decision can be traced back to the energy crisis of 2000-01 which analysts showed was caused in part by the failure to transmit dynamic pricing signals to retail customers.
Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation, the parent company of the Pacific Gas and Electric utility, has acknowledged plans to spend between $25 and $35 million to support a California ballot initiative that would restrict cities and counties to go into the public power business.