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Sacramento, California — (METERING.COM) — June 30, 2006 – In a move to encourage energy conservation, and as mandated by the Public Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) is to phase in a new and more intelligent meter.
The move – dubbed the “SmartMeter program” – will see the deployment of new natural gas and electric meters with automatic meter reading (AMR) capability. Planned uses of the new meters include helping the utility to pinpoint exact causes for power outages and the introduction of demand based tariffs.

The overall cost for the deployment is expected to be in the region of $1.4 billion. When reached for comment, Director of Planning and Budget for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District Jim Tracey exclaimed about the meter’s capability: “We’d like to get more information about how consumers react before we take an action that could raise rates 1 to 2 percent.”