Kentucky PSC to investigate smart grid and smart meters


David Armstrong,
Chair, Kentucky
Frankfort, KY, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 3, 2012 – The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) has initiated an administrative proceeding to consider the implementation of smart grid technologies, including smart meters and time-of-use pricing.
According to the order, the proceeding will examine “all aspects” of smart grid technologies, including implementation costs, technical issues and societal impacts. The PSC also will explore whether the use of smart grid technologies can be combined with various dynamic pricing rate structures to encourage greater energy conservation and efficiency.

All electric utilities in Kentucky have been made parties to the case and have been directed to provide information to the PSC. Kentucky’s five major natural gas distribution companies are also participants, but each has 30 days to request that the PSC remove them from the case.

“The purpose of this proceeding is to determine the appropriate course for Kentucky to follow with respect to advanced technologies collectively known as smart grid,” said PSC chairman David Armstrong.

The PSC has twice before considered implementation of smart grid standards or requirements in Kentucky.

In 2006, the PSC considered whether to adopt federal smart grid standards set forth in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Adoption of the standards would have required utilities to offer optional rates that varied with the time of day, as well as the necessary advanced meters. The PSC chose not to adopt the standards, but required the five electric utilities with generating facilities in Kentucky to offer time-based rates to their largest customers.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required the PSC to again consider the adoption of federal smart grid standards. In October 2011, the PSC decided to adopt the federal standard requiring electric utilities to consider the use of smart grid technologies whenever they invest in their transmission and distribution systems.
However, after considering further issues raised by the utility companies, the PSC last month decided to defer a final decision on the federal standard pending completion of this new proceeding.