Media Contact: David Song (626) 302-2255
(Note to editors: Photos, a map, animation and a fact sheet are available in the online press room at www.edison.com/smart.)
ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 31, 2012 – Southern California Edison (SCE) has started installing smart electric meters in western Los Angeles County and eastern Ventura County as part of the Edison SmartConnect program. The technology will enable SCE residential and small-business customers to take advantage of new programs and services in the near future.
Communities in the upcoming installation phase include Agoura, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Topanga, Westlake Village and a small part of Santa Rosa and Woodland Hills.
Edison SmartConnect meters are digital, secure, two-way communicating devices. They are replacing traditional mechanical meters and provide a key step in transforming the electric system to a smart grid. Customers with smart meters will have access to their daily energy usage data through SCE.com. By signing up to receive e-mail, voice or text message alerts, customers can track usage against a monthly budget target of their choice, and reduce bills.
SCE began introducing these programs and services last year and nearly 3 million customers now have access to them. More customers will be able to make better-informed decisions about energy use by enrolling in the smart meter-enabled programs and services throughout this year.
"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 and money, and help protect the environment."
Once advanced features are fully activated, SCE’s smart 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 4.3 million smart meters.
SCE is partnering with 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.
- Smart meter customers will receive follow-up mail, notifying them when new program features and services are available and how to access them.
Residential customers have the option to choose an Edison SmartConnect meter or a traditional electric meter. Customers who opt out of the program will pay a $75 one-time set-up fee and a $10 recurring monthly charge as required by the California Public Utilities Commission. Income-qualified customers pay $10 for the initial set-up fee and $5 a month. Customers may opt out by calling 1-800-810-2369. The cost covers manual meter-reading and associated operational and billing activities.
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’s energy policy goals, relating to improved electric system reliability, customer energy efficiency and demand response, and reduced environmental impact. As an example, sustained energy conservation, resulting from customer response to energy use information, is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and smog-forming pollutants by an estimated 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.