Innovative tariffs available in residential smart meter pilot


Public Service Commission of the district of Colombia Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 24, 2007 – The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia has approved the implementation of a two-year smart meter pilot program, and participants will be billed under one of three pricing options: Hourly Pricing (HP), Critical Peak Pricing (CPP), or Critical Peak Rebate (CPR).

The purpose of the SmartPowerDC™ program is to assess the value of time-based pricing for residential customers in D.C., including their ability to control their electricity bills and potentially benefit from smart meters and thermostats. Regulators and utilities in other jurisdictions should find the results of the program useful by learning how participants drawn from the same pool of customers respond to different types of time-based rates, as well as the value of timely usage feedback and smart thermostats.

SmartPowerDC is designed to provide a segment of District of Columbia residential customers with information on how electricity is priced and the types of energy reducing or energy shifting activities they can undertake in response to periods of high prices, in order to save money on their electricity bills. The program will also provide statistically valid results that can be used to assess the cost-effectiveness of these residential pricing and technology options for all District of Columbia residential customers.

2,250 randomly selected D.C. residents, who currently receive Standard Offer Service from local utility PEPCO, will be invited to pay their electric bills based on time differentiated pricing signals they will receive through advanced metering and communication technology. The smart meters are able to measure electricity usage every 15 minutes, and PEPCO can receive detailed consumption information through a wireless communication link.

The program, to be managed by eMeter Strategic Consulting, will include smart meters provided by Sensus, as well as smart thermostats, to allow participants to receive the information necessary to reduce their electricity usage.

SmartPowerDC builds on other ‘smart’ meter studies, but will be the first to test advanced metering using three different residential pricing options. Additional billing detail will also be provided that may enable customers to learn when they can use electricity most efficiently.

"We are excited to begin implementing this program and, now that the tariff has been approved, we can begin our preparations to recruit customers and install the smart meters and thermostats," said Chris King, President of eMeter Strategic Consulting.

"We have been working with PEPCO, Conversant (a CIS company, recently acquired by MinCom) and other providers in preparation for providing timely information and billing for the three different pricing plans," said Patti Harper-Slaboszewicz, Director of UtiliPoint International, Inc., who assisted with the selection of the various service providers involved in the project and designed the eight pilot tariffs approved by the DC Public Service Commission.