Media Contact: David Song (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 7, 2011 – Southern California Edison (SCE) has started installing smart electric meters in select Gateway and South Bay cities as part of the Edison SmartConnect program. SCE customers are receiving new smart meters that will allow them to take advantage of new meter-enabled programs and services in the near future.
Communities in the upcoming installation phase include Bell, Bell Gardens, Carson, Compton, City of Commerce, Cudahy, Gardena, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Maywood, Montebello, Paramount, South Gate, Torrance and a small cross-section of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
Edison SmartConnect meters are digital, secure, two-way communicating devices that will replace traditional mechanical meters and provide a key step in transforming the electric system to a smart grid. Smart meters measure electricity usage in 15-minute increments for business customers and hourly increments for residential customers.
“Over the past several years, we have focused on developing an industry-leading smart meter program, including extensive testing of our smart meters and associated systems to ensure their quality and performance,” said Ken Devore, director of SCE’s Edison SmartConnect program. “Smart meters will empower our customers to become better managers of their electricity usage through new tools, programs and services that will help them save energy, money and the environment.”
As a next step, SCE will begin providing information on energy usage back to customers, enabling them to make better-informed decisions about their energy use. For example, customers may sign up to receive alerts on a computer, cell phone or other electronic device to track how much energy is being used and how much it costs.
When advanced features are fully activated in the coming years, the meters will be able to communicate with the next generation of smart thermostats, appliances and other devices.
The first smart meter in the Edison SmartConnect program was installed in September 2009 in Downey. Installations will continue through 2012 to a total of nearly 5 million SCE residential and small-business customers in the utility’s 50,000-square-mile service territory. To date, SCE has installed more than 2.3 million smart meters.
SCE has hired Corix Utilities Inc. to perform most of the installations. Here is some important information for customers receiving the new meters:
- Customers will receive advance notice by mail when installations are scheduled in their neighborhood.
- Customers do not need to be home, but should provide clear access to their meters. The installer will leave a door hanger indicating if the installation was successful or if an appointment for installation is required due to access issues.
- During a typical residential installation, customers will experience a short power interruption of less than a minute. As an extra measure of protection, customers are encouraged to plug electronic equipment, such as personal computers and televisions, into power surge protectors. Typically, no service interruption is required for smart meter installations at small businesses.
- Customers who operate life support medical equipment at their addresses, or have concerns about power interruptions, may call SCE at 1-800-973-2356.
- Corix installers carry identification indicating they are approved SCE contractors.
- Customers with smart meters will receive follow-up information by mail, notifying them when new program features and services are available and how to access them.
For more information, please go to www.sce.com/smartconnect.
Edison SmartConnect is a $1.6 billion program authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. SCE’s smart metering program was designed to help achieve California energy policy goals, relating to improved electric system reliability, customer energy efficiency and demand response, and reduced environmental impact.
The company anticipates customers’ use of the information the new meters provide will reduce electricity grid demand by about 1,000 megawatts, the amount of energy an average power plant produces. Sustained energy conservation, resulting from customer response to energy use information, also is expected to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants by a minimum of 365,000 metric tons per year – the equivalent of removing 79,000 cars from the road.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.