Smart metering a part of New York’s energy plans


Eliot Spitzer,
New York
New York, NY, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 14, 2008 – In his recent State of the State speech, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer announced “a two-part program that reduces energy use on the one hand, and increases the production of home grown, renewable energy on the other”, saying that energy should be reliable, plentiful, and clean.

Spitzer said that on the demand side, the government is committed to “15 by 15”, the most progressive and attainable energy efficiency target in the country, which sets a goal of reducing statewide electricity use by 15 percent from projected levels by 2015. “We approach this goal the way a business would, with a requirement that our energy investments produce savings well in excess of the cost of achieving them.

“Technology will help us on both the supply and the demand side. We have the know-how, for example, to reduce costs for homeowners who run appliances at off-peak hours. This is called smart metering. Likewise, we have the technology to allow consumers to generate their own solar or wind power, send excess power directly into the grid and, quite literally, run their meters backwards. As we create and conserve energy, New Yorkers can also save money.”

The New York State Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, supports the implementation of AMI. “The long-standing goal of this Commission has been to provide customers with more information about their energy usage so that they have the ability to control their energy costs by responding to peak prices through the use of state-of-the-art technology,” said Commission Chairwoman Patricia L. Acampora. “The infrastructure needed to support real-time peak pricing programs must include advanced meters as well as expanded back-office information systems that can manage exponentially greater amounts of usage information, and bill customers using time-sensitive rates.

“This sophisticated combination of meters, and other supporting equipment, is clearly the wave of the future. However, before we approve full-scale AMI implementation, we must determine if the investment is justified and whether the meters to be installed contain features and functions that will provide consumer and system benefits, or can be later modified to add new functionality. Pilots can play a very important role in reducing the number of open questions and obtaining better forecasts of costs and benefits.”

AMI programs have grown nationally over the past year, according to a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report, which notes the rise in the number of large utilities that are planning to install AMI in the next several years. The report indicates that several states have taken actions ranging from the approval of AMI deployment to re-establishing collaborative efforts and workshops as well as issuing rulemakings. According to the report, if all the announced deployments actually occur, more than 40 million new advanced meters will be deployed in the next several years nationwide.