San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 15, 2009 – California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has announced that to date it has installed 2.3 million SmartMeter(TM) gas and electric meters – more than any other utility in the United States.
PG&E began its SmartMeter(TM) installation program in 2006. By the end of 2011, the company will have installed 9.8 million SmartMeter(TM) meters for all customers, including 5.3 million electric and 4.5 million gas meters.
“PG&E’s SmartMeter(TM) program is a great example of how we are leading the way to better serve our customers,” said Helen Burt, senior vice president and chief customer officer at PG&E. “The program puts in place a foundation that will enable us to reach new levels of customer service and operational efficiency.”
Features of PG&E’s smart meters include remote upgrading as technologies evolve. In addition, the new meters include a home area network interface that customers will be able to use in the future to get real time energy usage data, as well as automate management of their home energy use. These and other features such as power outage detection will roll out in the coming years as PG&E builds the applications to support them.
The new meters also give customers the ability to take advantage of SmartRate(TM), a voluntary summer program that can save them money if they reduce energy use during times of peak demand. The program rewards customers with a credit of nearly 3 cents for each kilowatt hour of electricity used outside of critical peak load periods, which occur only on the hottest summer afternoons and on no more than 15 days a season.