Dian M. Grueneich,
CPUC commissioner
 
San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 13, 2009 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has received authorization from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to proceed with its proposed SmartMeter Program upgrade in order to give customers better access to information and greater control over their energy use and bills.

With the upgrade, PG&E’s customers will receive advanced meters that include a Home Area Network enabling customers to access their energy usage on a real-time basis, rather than receiving such information at the end of a billing cycle. The improved system will also incorporate a remote connect/disconnect device on all meters, eliminating the need for PG&E to visit the location every time a customer moves in or out of their home.

With this upgrade PG&E’s system will be comparable to those being used by San Diego Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison Company. The cost of the upgrade is set at $466.76 million.

"The updates PG&E is rolling out here represent an important step forward in terms of functionality and will be crucial in our ability to help consumers change their behavior and reduce their energy needs," commented CPUC commissioner Dian M. Grueneich.

PG&E began installing SmartMeter units in Bakersfield in November 2006. The company’s goal is to install 10.3 million SmartMeter™ electric and gas meters for all customers by 2012.