A follow-up to a story involving Southern California Edison (SCE) that we posted last summer about the utility company installing what was then the 1 millionth smart meter – the power provider is now expanding rollout into the Orange County region and preparing customers for new features and data reporting.
To date, SCE has installed almost 3 million smart meters, and hopes to reach its target of 5 million installed before the end of 2012. The company says the $1.6 billion new technology program will empower ratepayers in California to save energy, and ultimately money, by providing necessary information about usage and variable costs.
The installation of smart meters, however, which utility companies say will help regulate peak demand on the smart grid, has its share of opponents. At least one group in the state is trying to ban the devices for what they see as harmful radiation output.
Other concerns have arisen as well, most recently a study from MIT that suggests smart meters could backfire during peak periods, and fears of privacy have caused the state to enact a set of rules to protect consumers. Still, it seems smart meters are the wave of the future, as we noted that 1 billion installed units are being projected over the next few years.