For electric utilities in the USA, the most far-reaching change coming out of the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) is the aggressive action required in the areas of advanced metering and demand response. The Act includes references to and sections on smart metering as the technology provides a way for utilities to have access to a constant stream of accurate and timely energy-usage information as a means for their customers to gain control over their energy consumption and the tariffs they pay for energy consumed.

EPACT 2005 is the primary driver across the country for smart metering initiatives, as stipulations require:

  • Utilities to offer and provide all customers, upon customer request, with time-based rates and provide a time-based meter to any customer requesting such a rate.
  • Utility commissions to investigate time-based metering and communications and make determinations on whether or not it is appropriate for electric utilities to provide and install time-based meters and communications devices for each of their customers. This will likely result in a number of states adopting mandatory requirements for smart metering.
  • California is on a massive smart metering drive, with PG&E investing $1.4 billion over the next five years to install nearly 10 million smart meters at homes and businesses throughout their service area. Southern California Edison began deploying smart meters as early as 2001, with many municipal utilities such as City of Seattle and SMUD following suit.

The Smart Metering West Coast conference, hosted by Smart Energy International magazine, is a unique opportunity for regulators, utilities, technology providers and energy service companies who are about to embark or already have embarked on smart metering initiatives. The forum will allow participants to gain in-depth, comprehensive knowledge and first-hand experience of the benefits and challenges, the technologies and implementation techniques of smart metering from the world's leaders.

Program highlights include:

  • Site visit to PG&E’s SmartMeter Education Center
  • Pre-conference seminar focusing on meter data management
  • Vendor briefing sessions
  • Two day conference featuring over 30 speakers. Some of these industry-elite speakers include:
  • Ralph Abbott, President, Plexus Research, MA, USA
  • Michael Angemeer, Chair, Electricity Distributors Association, ON, Canada
  • Eric Ackerman, Senior Manager, Regulatory Policy, Edison Electric Institute, DC, USA
  • Paul DeMartini, Director AMI Program, Southern California Edison, CA, USA
  • David Hungerford, Demand Response Evaluation Manager, California Energy Commission, CA, USA
  • Roger Levy, CEO, Levy Associates, CA, USA
  • Matt Lecar, Director Utility Practice, GlobalSmartEnergy, WA, USA
  • Joseph Hughes, Senior Project Manager, Metering, EPRI, CA, USA
  • Ted Reguly, Director, AMI Program Office, SDG&E, CA, USA
  • Kevin Wood, Manager AMI Technology Development, Southern California Edison, CA, USA

“Smart Metering West Coast is one of the few forums to highlight that there is not one driver of the implementation of this technology, but three – profit, sustainability and social responsibility. It will become a must-attend event for North American utility professionals…” says Kate Hopkins, editor of Smart Energy International.

Featured presentations include:

  • The sleeper that may kill the AMI business case: Depreciation
  • Stephen Hadden, VP, Plexus Research, MA, USA
  • Challenges, opportunities and pitfalls: An analyst’s view on AMI and smart metering
  • Matt Lecar, Director Utility Practice, GlobalSmartEnergy, WA, USA
  • Financing public water and wastewater systems
  • Robert Doty, President, American Governmental Financial Services, CA, USA
  • Case study Ontario: Status and the way forward
  • Michael Angemeer, Chair, Electricity Distributors Association, ON, Canada
  • International case study: Making smart metering pay for energy conservation
  • Jeffrey H. Michel, Energy engineer and researcher, Heuersdorf, Germany

The event takes place 28-30 August, 2006 in San Francisco, California and is sponsored by Echelon, EnergyCite, Silver Spring Networks and USCL.