Demand response and advanced metering reviewed in U.S.


Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — September 11, 2009 – There are an estimated 7.95 million advanced meters installed in the United States in 2009 and there could be between 80 and 141 million meters installed within 10 years, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest assessment of demand response and advanced metering in the nation.

The assessment, produced annually as a requirement of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), is based largely on a report completed earlier in the year on the national assessment of demand response potential (see New study assesses U.S. nationwide potential for demand response).

This assessment estimates the national reduction in peak demand from demand response in 2009 to be 37 GW. The potential for peak electricity demand reductions across the country in 2019 is estimated between 38 GW and 188 GW.

Reviewing activities during 2009 the assessment says that at least ten states issued comprehensive long-term energy plans or passed legislation or regulations that will enable increased deployment of advanced metering infrastructure or demand response: California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

Information collected on AMI deployment activities reveals that 26 utilities in 19 states announced or pursued advanced metering pilots or full deployment programs since the last assessment. Laws and policies in Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania laid the groundwork for pilot programs that could expand to statewide deployment by 2012. Utilities in Connecticut (Connecticut Light & Power), the District of Columbia (Pepco’s “PowerCentsDC”), Oregon (Portland General Electric), and Maryland and West Virginia (Allegheny Power) announced or began smart meter pilot programs. In Illinois, Commonwealth Edison filed for approval to install 141,000 advanced meters in homes and to study consumer behavior before committing to a full rollout. At least nine utilities in four states, satisfied with AMI pilot program results, began or completed full service territory deployments of AMI, including two Arizona utilities, three California utilities, Idaho Power, and three Texas utilities.

Three multistate utility holding companies announced plans to deploy AMI in their operating utilities or began smart meters installation: Southern Company, Duke Energy, and Pepco Holdings, Inc. Southern reached a one-million smart meter milestone in March 2009, and intends to install 4.3 million smart meters and deploy AMI for customers at Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power by 2013. Duke Energy Indiana reached a settlement with Indiana’s Office of Utility Consumer Counsel for its smart grid proposal; it then sought regulatory approval for its proposed AMI and smart grid implementation plans. Duke awaits approval for similar plans in Ohio and South Carolina. Pepco Holdings’ Delaware subsidiary, Delmarva Power, won approval to install smart meters and recover related costs, starting in late 2009.

The assessment also notes that nearly every retail regulatory filing or approval for AMI in the past year had a corresponding request for approval of a dynamic pricing tariff.

Further, four states passed peak load reduction targets this reporting year: Maine, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. California, Connecticut, and Illinois passed them earlier. Florida, DC, and New Jersey proposed targets, but have not yet issued regulations. Six states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, New Mexico, Ohio, and Iowa – adopted or enhanced energy efficiency resource standards this year that include demand response. Among the states with an integrated resource plan or other procurement order that requires utilities to include or study demand response resources, dynamic pricing, advanced metering or other enabling technologies are Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington.

Next year’s report, like the 2006 and 2008 reports, will present the results of another comprehensive nationwide survey on demand response and advanced metering.