Report: Almost 40% of households in U.S. have a smart meter

With 46 million smart meters installed in the United States, electric utilities like Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E), Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM) and NV Energy (NYSE:NVE), are demonstrating the value of digital grid investments, Innovation Electricity Efficiency (IEE), an institute of The Edison Foundation, said in a new report.

As of July, almost 40% of households in the U.S. have a smart meter, up from about 33% in May 2012, IEE said in its report, “Utility-scale smart meter deployments: A foundation for expanded grid benefits.”

OG&E is working with ABB to reduce energy losses and peak demand in its distribution system, IEE said, adding that the companies are implementing volt/VARoptimization (VVO) across 400 circuits to achieve a 75 MW load reduction by 2018. The VVO application monitors the distribution network and computes the optimal control settings.

IEE also said that Pepco is in the process of deploying to Delaware and Maryland residents the Peak Energy Savings program, which connects data from smart meters with a peak time rebate. Customers who have a smart meter receive a price signal during peak demand times and are eligible for a bill credit of $1.25 per kWh for responding by reducing demand. The program is expected to provide about 50 MW of demand response (DR) and will generate revenue from PJM Interconnection.

In March, Pepco President, Chairman and CEO Joseph Rigby noted that in November 2012, the company installed its one millionth smart meter.

NV Energy, IEE added, is working with Building IQ to engage casinos, schools, hotels and offices in resource optimization through its mPowered for Commercial program, which moves away from the typical “cash for kilowatts” design, allowing the utility to work with its customers to make “long-lasting, financially sound and technology driven changes” in large buildings.

By upgrading and overlaying existing energy management systems with automated DR communications, NV Energy delivers building efficiencies through an application of HVAC optimization under a software-as-a-service platform, IEE said, adding that the utility will deliver 75 MW of savings by 2015 through the program.

“Smart meters enable two-way power and information flows between the utility and the customer,” IEE Executive Director Lisa Wood said in a Sept. 9 statement. “Electric utilities are using the real-time information provided by smart meters and other investments in the digital grid to improve the efficiency and reliability of the electric system.”

Wood also noted that following Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Irene in 2011, utility smart grid investments helped restore power to thousands of customers earlier than expected.

The report also included smart meter installations and projected deployments by utility.

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), for instance, plans to deploy smart meters to all 5.2 million customers served by its operating companies. AEP’s Indiana Michigan Power subsidiary has deployed 9,927 meters to customers in South Bend, Ind., while AEP Ohio has deployed 131,501 in the Columbus area. AEP Texas has deployed 875,008 and AEP’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma has deployed 31,795 meters.

Arizona Public Service’s (APS) deployment is more than 90% complete, with full installation of 1.25 million meters by 2014.

Maine-based Bangor Hydro Electric has fully deployed 113,500 smart meters in its service territory, while Louisiana-based Cleco Power intends to install a smart meter network for its entire service territory after receiving approval from state regulators in 2011.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) has installed 597,090 smart meters in Ohio after receiving state regulatory approval in May 2010 to deploy 700,000 meters. In Florida, the company has installed 49,419 meters; 39,000 fully deployed in Kentucky; and expects to deploy 31,505 in South Carolina and 168,657 in North Carolina by the end of this year.

IEE also noted that Hawaii Electric Company (NYSE:HE) plans to deploy smart meters throughout its service territory by 2018, with 30 smart meters deployed to date across all islands.

Among others, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in California intends to install automated metering infrastructure technology for 64,000 residential customers with monthly energy consumption of more than 1,200 kWh, 10,000 high turn-over residencies and 2,500 critical care residential customers.

APS is a subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital (NYSE:PNW), while Bangor Hydro Electric is wholly owned by Emera.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3106 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.