Glendale to expand smart-meter trials, include smart thermostats

Local utility company Glendale Water & Power says it is expanding its smart-meter program with CEIVA Energy to include more than six times as many customers as the initial deployment.

The extension will also provide additional services to customers, including the use of smart thermostats.

Since 2011, Glendale – which serves the Californian city of the same name – has been trialling the use of smart meters on 72 customers, with the aim of improving energy efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Under the expanded project, some 500 customers will be able to use the original services – which include in-home displays showing information about energy consumption – as well as a programmable thermostat.

According to a report from local publication Glendale News-Press, the expanded program has received the approval of the Glendale City Council and is expected to cost about $260,000 over the next 12 months, with each thermostat costing $175 and each display costing $65.

The news story also cites the results of a recent consumer survey funded by CEIVA, with 39% of respondents saying they “absolutely know” how much energy they are consuming – thanks to use of the display – compared with just 4% before the technology was deployed.

The utility also claims that 83% of respondents reported changing their behavior to reduce energy and water use after joining the CEIVA pilot program.

“After seeing the impressive customer feedback from our initial deployment with CEIVA, expanding the program to help more Glendale residents reduce their energy costs was an easy decision,” said Steve Zurn, general manager of GWP. “The next phase of the pilot program gives GWP more ways to engage with a larger customer base, by offering the addition of smart thermostats that gives customers the tools to reduce their energy usage.”

“As a result, we'll be able to offer the right mix of targeted programs to boost engagement around energy use and help our customers reduce energy costs even farther,” he added.

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