Southern California Edison (SCE) has installed one-fifth of the 5 million smart meters that it plans to swap in for customers by 2012.
The utility started its Edison SmartConnect program in September 2009, replacing manual meters (image, left) with smart meters (image, right) for small business and residential customers.
Instead of only measuring monthly energy use and needing to be read manually like previous meters, the smart meters provide more current energy use for customers and can be read remotely.
The digital meters provide two-way communication between the utility and customers, providing business customers with energy use information in 15-minute increments and residential customers with their energy use in one-hour increments. SCE also is providing energy pricing plans that lower costs by shifting energy use to off-peak times like evenings and weekends.
Later this year, SCE customers with smart meters will be able to view energy use information online to track how much energy they use and how much it costs. SCE’s smart meters will also eventually be able to communicate with smart thermostats, appliances and other home devices, allowing customers to have more control over how much energy they use and when they use it.