The state of Vermont will see greater cooperation between Green Mountain Power (GMP), Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS), and Vermont Telephone Company (VTel) as the various companies move toward expanding both access to the smart grid and broadband Internet connection.
The statement of agreement between the companies was praised by Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin, who said the project would give ratepayers greater access to information that they can use to reduce electricity use. GMP and CVPS say they will install roughly 250,000 smart meters over the next two years, and will rely on VTel’s network to transmit data about usage.
VTel is currently rolling out a program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture called “Wireless Open World,” which will expand the company’s 4G network that will work in tandem with the smart grid, and participating partners say will be a major step toward reducing fossil fuel dependence, and giving the entire state high-speed Internet access by 2013.
While how much less fossil fuel will be used will depend on a variety of factors, including the resources Vermont’s utilities harvest for power, as well as how much home energy management tools actually influence consumers. At least one study suggests utilities companies aren’t doing enough to educate their ratepayers about smart meter technology. Still, we noted that the federal government is praising the technology that continues to rollout worldwide.