Independent smart meter testing to begin in Texas


Barry Smitherman,
Chairman, Texas PUC
Austin, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 6, 2010 – The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) has detailed a multi-pronged evaluation process for the independent testing of smart meters installed in the Texas competitive retail electric market, including the appointment of Navigant Consulting as consultants on the project.
The review will include testing and evaluating installed smart meters, individually and side-by-side, reviewing historic customer usage, and analyzing customer complaints. Further, there will be evaluation of utility smart meter processes, procedures and controls involving system hardware and software, tracking of the accuracy of information transmitted from a smart meter to its final destination, and sampling of customer usage without smart meters to compare information and identify any inconsistencies with customer accounts that have smart meters.

Navigant Consulting will evaluate work done by the transmission and distribution utilities serving the competitive retail electric regions, Oncor, CenterPoint Energy, AEP Texas Central, and AEP Texas North. An initial estimate indicates approximately 5,000 meters will be tested.

“We are committed to a comprehensive review to ensure the accuracy of smart meters,” said PUC chairman Barry Smitherman. “If any flaws are discovered we will move to correct them immediately.”

Testing and evaluation will begin later this month, and the company expects to report results to the PUC in June.

More than one million smart meters have been installed in the Oncor and CenterPoint Energy service areas. Eventually more than 6.3 million smart meters will be installed in the Texas competitive retail electric market.