Significant progress in demand response and advanced metering in U.S.


Jon Wellinghoff,
Chairman, FERC
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 7, 2013 – In the past year, significant progress has been achieved for both wholesale and retail electricity advanced metering and demand response in the United States, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest annual assessment.

This progress has been supported by the actions of state regulators, federal regulators and federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the development of interoperability standards, and the efforts of industry and customers.

According to the new staff report, which is based on input from almost 2,000 utilities and other electricity delivery industry participants, the advanced metering penetration reached approximately 22.9 percent in 2011 in the U.S. – amounting to approximately 38 million AMI meters – up from approximately 8.7 percent in the 2010 FERC survey (covering calendar year 2009).

Nine states are estimated to now have over 50 percent penetration of advanced meters, with the largest penetration in DC (87.1%). This can be attributed to Pepco’s rollout that began in 2011.

California has the second highest penetration rate in the country (70.5%). This is primarily due to advanced metering rollouts by two utilities, Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric.There were also large advanced metering deployments in other western states including Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona. Each of these states contains at least one investor-owned utility that deployed over 200,000 advanced meters between 2010 and 2012.

Georgia’s advanced metering market penetration rate increased by almost 54 percentage points from 2010 to 2012. The majority of this growth came from cooperatives such as the
Central Georgia Electric Membership Corp., which added over 140,000 advanced meters between 2010 and 2012.

As in previous surveys electric cooperatives have the largest overall penetration at nearly 31 percent, compared with other types of utilities.

The report also estimates that the potential demand response resource contribution from all U.S. demand response programs is nearly 72,000 MW, or about 9.2 percent of U.S.peak demand. This is an increase of about 13,000 MW from the 2010 FERC Survey.

Michigan reported the highest potential peak reduction (5,835 MW).Detroit Edison’s time-of-use program for commercial and industrial customers accounts for 3,000 MW of this total.Minnesota reported the next largest potential peak reduction (4,392 MW), followed by Pennsylvania (4,212 MW), Florida (3,857 MW0 and Wisconsin (3,231 MW).

Of the total reported potential peak reduction, 80 percent can be attributed to four demand response program types – load as a capacity resource (29%), interruptible load (24%), direct load control (15%) and time-of-use (12%).

In a statement commenting on the report, FERC chairman Jon Wellinghoff said it provides a good representation of the work that has been going on around the country.

“I think the news is good – customers are getting more information about their consumption of electricity and the associated prices. And they are being offered more options to act upon this information to manage their usage and costs.”