Progress. The Washington Post reports:
Pepco Holdings Inc. is planning to install “smart meters” in 2,250 District homes as part of a $2 million pilot project to give Pepco more information about residential electricity usage and give homeowners greater ability to manage power consumption and curb monthly bills….
About half the residences in the program will also get “smart thermostats” that will provide customers with information about real-time electricity prices and running usage so they can adjust air conditioning or the use of other appliances.
The price of electricity can vary widely depending on time of day and season. Summer rates at peak hours are 64 cents a kilowatt-hour; rates during non-peak hours are 6.81 cents.
Pepco would also have the ability to adjust the thermostats to prevent demand from overloading the transmission system. There are 15 “critical peak” days during the summer and three during the winter. Customers would be able to override Pepco’s adjustments.
Pepco said it will select the homes for the pilot project at random in all eight wards of the city and will install the new meters at no charge.
A curious detail, the pilot is formally being run by “Smart Meter Pilot Program Inc., a nonprofit company comprising Pepco, the District’s Office of the People’s Counsel and Consumer Utility Board, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1900 and the D.C. Public Service Commission….” Why set up a separate nonprofit, is this just political cover of some sort? Maybe just a way to get buy in from the regulators?
A spokesman for “Advanced Metering Data Systems LLC, the maker of the meter communications system, said that the devices have been installed in 50,000 homes in Birmingham, Ala., and that there are pilot projects in Gulfport, Miss.; Charlotte; New Orleans; Covington, La.; Jasper, Ga.; and two towns in Ontario.” Anyone know more about these projects?