SCE smart meter deployment ahead of schedule

Crest of California

Rosemead, CA., USA — (METERING.COM) — August 21, 2006 – Southern California Edison, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., has today announced to state officials that its AMI initiative – a plan to replace 5 million residential and small commercial customer meters with two-way communications devices – is ahead of schedule.

According to SCE, the acceleration has come about because meter manufacturers have been able to assure the utility that they can meet its request for a new generation of meters with advanced customer benefits faster than expected.

Lynda Ziegler, SCE Senior Vice President of Customer Service, said: “We have asked meter manufacturers for enhanced meter functions and capabilities that provide customers with significantly more control over their energy use and costs.

“The industry’s response has been impressive and we believe the devices being developed could benefit every home and small business we serve.”

The SCE meter initiative is part of a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) study of the feasibility of replacing meters that measure total energy use by the month with more advanced devices that measure usage by the hour. Once the new meters are installed, the CPUC will be able to introduce the same type of time-of-use rates for residential and small business customers that have been available to larger business customers for some while.

Subject to approval by the CPUC, SCE plans to begin field testing of the new meters in 5,000 to 25,000 homes and small businesses next year, with full deployment taking place between 2008 and 2012.