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DC pilots smart meters

meterGreenbang recently sat down with one of the marketing reps from Eschelon, a company that makes electricity meters capable of telling you when electricity was used and not just how much.

In a similar vane to the Climate Group, the company believes that billing strategies could be used to adjust the way people use power.  If there’s a lot of capacity on the power grid then make it cheaper, etc.

From talking to the two organisations it does appear that the technology could help serious changes and enable the random power surge nature of renewable power to be catered for. So, Greenbang is really quite excited about a pilot smart metering project taking place in Washington D.C.

According to the release:

1,200 customers will use a combination of technology and innovative rate structures to reduce electricity usage. The pilot is sponsored by the Smart Meter Pilot Program, Incorporated, a non-profit corporation consisting of the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, Office of People’s Counsel, Consumers Utility Board, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Pepco Holdings, Inc.

The program is managed by eMeter and UtiliPoint International, Inc. It is the first in the world to test smart metering with three different advanced residential rate options: Hourly Pricing, Critical Peak Pricing and Critical Peak Rebate. Each of these pricing options is coupled with technology provided by Sensus and Mincom to measure usage and bill customers in the pilot. Comverge is providing smart thermostats to enable participants to save through automatic, remote control of their air conditioners.

“PowerCentsDC strongly emphasizes the consumer experience,” explains Chris King, president of eMeter Strategic Consulting. “The program promotes a holistic approach to energy conservation, combining prices that encourage load shifting to off peak times with tools and information that support reduced energy consumption at all times of the day. Participants should also decrease their carbon footprint using the program’s features.”

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