Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has petitioned the state’s Department of Public Utility Control to reject Connecticut Light & Power Co.’s plan to install smart meters for its 1.2 million customers. Jepsen maintains that advanced technology is overly expensive and would not save enough electricity to justify the expense.
Jepsen made his argument in a brief filed with state regulators, who are reviewing CL&P’s request to replace all the existing analog meters with advanced meter infrastructure. The utility also asked the regulators to grant the power company a guaranty that it can recover the entire cost of installation from consumers. The utility’s request is being made before the costs are evaluated to assure they fall within a reasonable and acceptable range.
“CL&P’s proposal would force the company’s ratepayers to spend at least $500 million on new meters that are likely to provide few benefits in return,” Jepsen said in his petition. He also asked regulators to “continue to evaluate emerging meter system technologies as well as other conservation programs” and only agree to the deployment of smart meters if and when they are cost effective.
State regulators previously approved a limited study of 10,000 meters. CL&P reported the results to the Department of Public Utility Control a year ago. Jepsen claimed, “The pilot results showed no beneficial impact on total energy usage. And, the savings that were seen in the pilot were limited to certain types of customers and would be far outweighed by the cost of installing the new meter systems.”
Jepsen also pointed out that the meters CL&P are seeking to replace were installed between 1994 and 2005 and have a 20 year life expectancy, so he believes replacing them early with smart meters will incur unnecessary additional costs for customers.
CL&P Disagrees with AG George Jepsen.
The state Department of Public Utility Control is thought to be announcing its decision in the early April.