Southern California Edison (SCE), the biggest utility in the state, has announced that it will begin installing smart electric meters at the end of the month in the San Joaquin Valley.
The deployment will form part of the Edison SmartConnect program, a $1.6 billion project authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission to help realise California’s energy policy targets.
The objectives include reducing greenhouse gas omissions by around 365,000 metric tonnes per year and helping California to generate a third of its electricity from renewables by 2020.
SCE says that consumers with the new meters will be able to register at SCE.com to receive information about their daily usage and spending via email, voicemail or text message.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
SCE says most of the meter installations will be done between October and December, including the communities of Armona, California Hot Springs, Camp Nelson, Delano, Ducor, Earlimart, Exeter, Farmersville, Goshen, Hanford, Ivanhoe, Lemon Cove, Lindsay, McFarland, Pixley, Porterville, Springville, Strathmore, Terra Bella, Three Rivers, Tipton, Tulare, Tule River Indian Reservation, Visalia and Woodlake.
Residential customers will be able to opt out of the program and choose a traditional electric meter in preference to the Edison SmartConnect meter, but they will have to pay a $75 set-up fee and $10 recurring monthly charge, as required by the California Public Utilities Commission.
SCE has already installed more than 4.6 million smart meters in California and it expects the number to hit 5 million by the end of the year.
It is partnering with Corix Utilities (Vancouver, Canada), which helps to build utility infrastructure across the US, for most of the installations.