Media Contact: Charles Coleman (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Dec. 13, 2010 – Southern California Edison (SCE) has started installing smart electric meters in the High Desert communities of San Bernardino County as part of the Edison SmartConnect program. SCE customers in those communities are receiving new smart meters that will allow them to take advantage of new programs and services enabled by the meters in the near future.
Communities in the upcoming installation phase include: Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, Llano, Lucerne Valley, Phelan, Victorville and Wrightwood.
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 up-to-the minute and, in the coming months, customers will be able to view their energy usage from a computer, cell phone, or other electronic device to track how much they use and how much it costs.
“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.”
SCE will soon be introducing new pricing plans, programs and services that will allow customers to make better-informed decisions about their energy use. When these advanced features are fully activated, 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 the city of 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 approximately 1.9 million smart meters.
SCE has contracted with Corix Utilities, Inc. to perform most of the installations. Here is some important information for customers getting the new meters:
- Customers will be notified by mail in advance when installations are scheduled in their neighborhood.
- Customers do not need to be home, but they do need to provide clear access to their meter. 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 one minute. Typically, no service interruption is required for smart meter installations at small businesses. As an extra measure of protection, customers are encouraged to plug electronic equipment, such as personal computers and televisions, into power surge protectors.
- 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 become available, and how to access them.
Edison SmartConnect is a $1.6 billion program authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. SCE anticipates customers’ use of the information provided by the new meters will reduce demand on the electricity grid by about 1,000 megawatts, the amount of energy produced at an average power plant. Sustained energy conservation resulting from customer response to their energy use information is also 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.
Customers can find more information at www.sce.com/smartconnect.
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.