Advanced metering reaches 8.7 percent penetration in U.S.


Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 4, 2011 – Advanced metering penetration and potential peak load reductions from electric power demand response have both increased significantly in the United States over the past two years, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in its latest “2010 Demand Response and Advanced Metering Survey.”

The survey, which was released yesterday, found that the advanced metering penetration reached approximately 8.7 percent in 2009, up from approximately 4.7 percent in 2007 (covered in the previous 2008 survey), while the potential demand response resource contribution is estimated at more than 58,000 MW in 2009, up from 41,000 MW in 2007.

The survey found the greatest advanced metering penetration in the upper Midwest (15.3 percent), followed by the West (14.1 percent) and Texas (13.4 percent). Conversely, the lowest levels are in Hawaii (2.1 percent), Alaska (1.2 percent) and the Northeast (0.7 percent). Notably Florida’s penetration declined in 2009 due to reclassification by JEA of nearly 400,000 meters from advanced to non-advanced because of change in the survey’s advanced metering definition.

As in previous surveys, electric cooperatives have the largest penetration at nearly 25 percent, among the categories of organizations. The investor owned utilities are at 6.6 percent.

On a state by state basis, Arizona on 29.1 percent and Oregon and Idaho, both around 25 percent, head the league. Another two states, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, also have penetrations above 20 percent and another seven are in the range 10 to 20 percent. At the other end of the scale, New Hampshire recorded 391 advanced meters and DC just 2 advanced meters.

For the first time the survey asked about ways customers were receiving data on their electricity use. Responses were received on about 8 million customers – around 5.5 percent of all meters in the U.S. – with the majority, around 5.5 million, using the internet and most of rest via bills and invoices. Display units are very uncommon

Turning to demand response the survey found that more than 500 entities reported offering demand response programs in 2009, with the largest estimated demand response resources in the Midwest-to-Mid-Atlantic region, as well as the Upper Midwest and the Southeast. Of these direct load control programs are the most common, with around 5.5 million customers enrolled in 2009.

The total potential peak load reduction from demand response programs reported in 2009 was 53,063 MW. This is up 42 percent from the 37,335 MW reported from 2007 and up 79 percent from the 29,653 MW of 2005. However, in total the actual demand response reported during 2009 was 15,980 MW (equal to 30 percent of the potential peak reduction). This compares with 13,398 MW of actual demand response in 2007 (equal to 36 percent of the potential reduction).