Even as the state of California pushes ahead with plans to build out smart grids, its utilities are already on the job with actions like installation of smart meters. Southern California Edison is one such utility, recently installing its 1,000,000th smart meter at the home of a customer in Redondo Beach.
The utility says it began installation of smart meters last year and has plans to install approximately 5 million smart meters for residential and small business customers by the end of 2012. Its meters, like others, measure a customer’s electricity usage up-to-the minute and, in the case of Edison’s SmartConnect meters, will allow later this year for customers to be able to view their energy usage online to track how much they use and how much it costs.
Southern California Edison believes that 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. It 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.
“Reaching the one million meter mark today is a milestone in the deployment of our smart meter program,” said Theodore F. Craver Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Edison International, in a statement. “After years of extensive research, we have made careful decisions to invest in technologies, systems and devices that provide a full range of customer benefits. We look forward to making available to all of our customers the valuable features smart meters provide, enabling them to closely monitor and manage their electricity usage to help them save energy, money, and the environment.”