April 11, 2012
Celebrating our smart meter installations
We've installed more than 600,000 smart meters for our customers, laying the foundation for the smart grid
This morning we marked the successful installation of more than 600,000 smart meters for our local customers and businesses. The meters and their wireless network are the foundation for a smart grid, which will modernize our electricity distribution system. These updates will help SMUD’s long-term vision of reducing our carbon footprint and developing a more sustainable energy supply.
U.S. Rep. Doris O. Matsui, who represents Sacramento, was onsite to help celebrate this milestone. Also in attendance were SMUD board members, including President Nancy Bui-Thompson and Directors Renee Taylor, Rob Kerth and Bill Slaton, SMUD executives and employees and local media.
Matsui, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, addressed the group, lauding SMUD’s success in securing and leveraging the $127.5 million Smart Grid Investment Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, a grant program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to supplement its existing plans for the smart grid in our region.
She talked about the importance of the grid, reminding the audience that the current electric grid has remained largely unchanged for the last 100 years and saying the upgrades are just the beginning of a more efficient and reliable system for customers
Bui-Thompson followed Matsui, elaborating on the process we followed for the installation and benefits that customers will enjoy. She explained the careful roll-out, beginning with pilot programs in late 2009, extensive testing and community outreach. She explained that customers will have access to their energy information and better control over their usage, as well as enjoy the benefits of automation for faster service and easy service starts and stops. She also noted that the customer satisfaction during the rollout consistently scored higher than 95 percent.
The event concluded with remarks from John DiStasio, SMUD General Manager and CEO. He reminded the group that this accomplishment marks a significant milestone, but it’s one of many to come and we will continue working toward meeting our customer’s energy needs – now and in the future.
Smart meters enable two-way communication between SMUD and our customers. Some of the immediate benefits include:
- Automatic meter reading, reducing the number of trucks on the road
- Quicker outage response and restoration
- Customers access to information about their energy use in hourly increments, up to the previous day
- Remote start-stop access for SMUD and customers
The meters will lead to the introduction of new, more sophisticated programs and options to help customers better manage their energy use and save money in the future. Our customers were not charged for the meters, nor will they be. With expected savings of $15 million annually in operating costs, the system should pay for itself in eight years.
To see a video of this event, visit our Facebook page.