Austin, TX, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — May 4, 2010 – Independent testing of smart meters has started in Texas and as of April 30, approximately 1,400 pre-deployment meters had been tested with all of them meeting industry standards for accuracy.
This follows the appointment by the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) in March of Navigant Consulting to provide an independent evaluation of smart meter deployment in the state, following a number of complaints about high bills and concerns for the accuracy of the smart meters.
The process started last week with an independent testing lab receiving pre-deployment meters from Oncor and CenterPoint Energy to measure the accuracy of new smart meters delivered to these companies from manufacturers.
This week a second testing procedure is beginning in the Oncor service region with the mobile field testing of approximately 500 previously installed smart meters.
A third process, scheduled to begin late next month, will remove previously installed smart meters and deliver them to an independent testing lab for similar accuracy testing. Some of these meters will be measured against previously installed traditional meters in side-by-side testing and subjected to a variety of factors to measure their accuracy under changing weather and load conditions.
The testing process goes beyond measuring the accuracy of the smart meter device. The process also will determine the accuracy of information transmitted from a smart meter back through the advanced metering infrastructure that gathers and organizes information to prepare a customer’s electric bill. In addition, there will be a review of historic customer usage and customer complaint data to locate any unexpected patterns that can be traced to the deployment or operation of smart meters.
As of April 1, more than 1.1 million smart meters had been installed in the Oncor and CenterPoint Energy service areas. Eventually more than 6.3 million smart meters will be installed in the Texas competitive retail electric market, and Navigant will evaluate work done by the transmission and distribution utilities (TDUs) serving these regions, Oncor, CenterPoint Energy, AEP Texas Central, and AEP Texas North.