California becomes the latest region to roll out smart meters to electricity consumers thanks to utility company Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).
Similar moves are being taken in Ontario, Canada where the deployment of smart meters by 2010 has been mandated and Victoria, Australia where all consumers are to start receiving smart meters in 2009.
PG&E plans to distribute up to 3.3 million GE smart meters to its customers in California and aims to reach all its 10.3 million customers in the US by the end of 2011.
The GE meters have Silver Spring Networks smart grid/advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communications technology that allows communication between the utility and the customer. As well as allowing the customer to manage their own consumption and costs, the technology support renewable microgeneration by the customer, as well as peak and time-of-use pricing.
“This program will help PG&E’s electricity customers better manage, and lower, their energy consumption. Ultimately, this will help the utility reduce load and help reduce the need for more expensive generation,” says Bob Gilligan of GE Energy.
Moving to a smart grid – including smart meters, software, demand response – offers significant efficiency benefits and improves overall performance, says PG&E.
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28 October 2008