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Southern California Edison (SCE) has begun installing the first of 5 million smart meters to kick off it's Edison SmartConnect program. SCE pioneered the installation of the world's first electricity meters, and now they are taking key steps to launch the new generation of meters and transform the electric system into a smart grid.

The Itron smart meters include advanced features that allow the meters to communicate with "smart" thermostats and appliances, allowing remote activation of electric service at the customer's convenience. The meters also measure up-to-the-minute electricity usage, and display consumption in a consumer friendly format that allows customers to track their own usage and costs.

The $1.6 billion program is expected to reduce demand on the electric grid by about 1,000 megawatts, or the equivalent of the amount of energy produced at an average power plant. This in turn is expected to reduce greenhouse emissions and pollutants by a minimum of 365,000 metric tons per year, or an amount equal to 79,000 cars.

In addition to helping consumers reduce energy consumption and save money through real time monitoring, the Edison SmartConnect program will also feature advanced pricing plans and rebates based on peak times and energy usage. Many of these pricing programs will be immediately effective upon installation with the remainder scheduled to be active by the end of 2010.

Those meters that have been installed have been tested and successfully verified using Itron's elliptic curve cryptography (EEC) based enhanced security architecture. Certicom, Itron's partner, was successful in securing end-to-end messages from the system devices to the OpenWay Collection engine.

About Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison is one of the largest utility providers in the United States, serving nearly a population of nearly 14 million consumers in a 50,000 square mile area of the state of California. It is an Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company.

About Itron, Inc.

Itron, inc is a global technology provider for global water and energy industries. Itron specializes in smart metering, software solutions and data collection for nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide, including electricity, water, and gas meters, automated meter reading systems, and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). Itron also offers product installation, project management and consulting services.


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