U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that more than 5 million smart meters have been installed nationwide in the effort to modernize the Nation’s electric grid.
"To compete in the global economy, we need a modern electricity grid," says Secretary Chu. "An upgraded electricity grid will give consumers choices and promote energy savings, increase energy efficiency, and foster the growth of renewable energy resources."
Smart meters will provide utility companies with greater information on how electricity is being used in their service areas, and are part of an integrated effort to improve grid security, incorporate renewable energy, prevent blackouts, and restore power quickly when outages do occur.
Two projects currently highlighted involving energy management and the electricity grid:
- Florida Power & Light Company (Miami, FL) is deploying an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation technologies, new electricity pricing programs, and advanced monitoring equipment for the transmission system. The goal is to increase reliability, reduce energy losses, and reduce operations and maintenance costs. As of April 30, 1.8 million smart meters have been installed. DOE award: $200 million in Recovery Act funding.
- CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric's (Houston, TX) project involves deployment of a fully integrated advanced metering system and Web portal access to over 2.2 million customers and installation of advanced monitoring and distribution automation equipment. The goal is to reduce peak loads, overall electricity use, and operations and maintenance costs while increasing distribution system reliability. As of April 30, 1.3 million smart meters have been installed. DOE award: $200 million in Recovery Act funding.