Houston, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 6, 2009 – CenterPoint Energy’s electric transmission and distribution subsidiary has selected GE Digital Energy as its provider of wireless communications to support the electric utility’s advanced metering system (AMS).

GE Digital Energy’s MDS Mercury 3650 radios, along with engineering services, network design, project management, and support services, will support the transmission of electric utility meter data over the AMS network from consumers’ homes and businesses to CenterPoint Energy’s data center.

“The AMS is our first step in developing a smart grid – comprised of technology, automation and electrical infrastructure integration,” said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of advanced metering deployment at CenterPoint Energy.

In March the company began replacing existing meters with smart meters. More than 145,000 smart meters are to be installed across the Houston area by the end of 2009. The AMS will be deployed during the next five years to over 2.4 million consumers within a 5,000 square mile service area around metropolitan Houston.

Once the AMS, including the communications infrastructure, is installed, consumers will gain access to new products and services that will allow them to remotely control their appliances via the internet, know how much electricity their appliances are using and what electricity rates they are paying at any given time.