Atlantic City Electric gets go-ahead for smart energy network

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Southern New Jersey utility Atlantic City Electric has received regulatory approval for its service area-wide ‘Smart Energy Network’.

The initiative is planned to deliver smart meters to all of the company’s approximately 560,000 customers and to upgrade the network to enhance reliability and resiliency.

With increasingly common severe weather events, a key benefit is expected to be faster and more efficient identification of the cause and location of power outages and their restoration.

Others include an improved customer experience, with improved bill management tools and new online features for customers to views their energy usage trends and programmes to help them manage this usage.

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Envisaged also is better integration of new clean energy technologies and services, including clean electric transportation, rooftop and community solar and battery storage.

“The Smart Energy Network is not only instrumental in providing our customers with new tools and resources to help them take control of their energy use, but will also enable much faster service restoration following powerful storms,” explains Gary Stockbridge, Atlantic City Electric region president.

“We will continue to keep our customers informed about our progress to install the Smart Energy Network and look forward to bringing the benefits of the Smart Energy Network to communities across South Jersey.”

Atlantic City Electric anticipates beginning to build the Smart Energy Network in mid-2022. Meter exchanges would occur over the course of 24 months.

The company intends to undertake a comprehensive customer and community outreach and education campaign to help ensure customer awareness of the planned work and the numerous benefits of the Smart Energy Network.

The cost of the initiative is estimated at approximately $212 million, or about $4.27 on the monthly bill for the typical Atlantic City Electric residential customer using 680kWh per month. The benefits are estimated at $415 million through operational efficiencies, energy efficiency and demand response programmes, enhanced billing operations and voltage optimisation, among other opportunities.