Portland, OR, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 20, 2009 – Portland General Electric Company (PGE) has begun rolling out more than 800,000 smart meters across its 4,000-square-mile service area after successfully completing its smart metering systems testing program.
PGE began installing smart meters last year in selected test neighborhoods, both urban and rural, before rolling them out territory-wide. The rest of the smart meters will be installed in an 18-month process slated for completion by late 2010.
“Systems testing went well and we are moving forward to complete the installation of smart meters for all of our customers,” said Jim Piro, president and CEO of PGE. “Smart meters will allow us to offer our customers better service and reduce our operating costs. Smart meters are also the foundation for future ‘smart grid’ and ‘smart home’ technology necessary to meet our customers’ future energy needs.”
PGE anticipates millions in operational cost savings per year once the system is fully up and running, saving customers at least $34 million (net present value) over the next 20 years. In addition, fewer meter reading vehicles will eliminate 1.2 million miles of driving, save 80,000 gallons of gasoline and reduce CO2 emissions by 1.5 million pounds every year.
Within the next year, customers with smart meters will be able to access detailed information online or via customer service about their power consumption, allowing them to see how their activities affect power usage and develop strategies to use energy wisely. Customers will also have the ability to pick a preferred bill due date.
In the future, PGE will be able to respond to power outages faster through information received via the smart metering system. The new meters will be able to tell PGE if a customer is experiencing a power outage, helping PGE dispatch repair crews more efficiently and restore service faster.
The new system is also expected to support the future development of such programs as demand response.
The capital cost of the project is expected to be $130-135 million.
The smart metering system is being supplied by Sensus Metering. Residential and smaller business customer meters will be installed by Wellington Energy, PGE’s contract meter installer. PGE’s meter services will install meters for PGE’s mid-sized to large commercial customers.