Southern California Edison to Install Smart Meters in Long Beach Area

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edison install smart metersSouthern California Edison’s SmartConnect program has begun installing smart electricity meters in Long Beach. SCE customers will receive new smart meters and be able to take advantage of new programs and services enabled by the meters.

During late July and August communities in the following cities will get smart meters: Artesia, Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and Signal Hill.

Edison SmartConnect meters are digital, secure, two-way communicating devices that will replace traditional mechanical meters and provide a key step in transforming the electric system to a smart grid. Smart meters measure electricity usage up-to-the minute and, later this year, customers will be able to view their energy usage from a computer, cell phone, or other electronic device to track how much they use and how much it costs.

“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. “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, money, and the environment.”

By the end of the year, SCE will introduce new pricing plans, programs and services that will allow customers to make better-informed decisions about their energy use. In the near future, when advanced features are fully activated, the meters will be able to communicate with the next generation of smart thermostats, appliances and other devices.

On July 12, SCE installed its 1 millionth smart meter at the home of a customer in Redondo Beach. The first smart meter in the Edison SmartConnect program was installed last September in the city of Downey. Installations will continue through 2012 to a total of nearly 5 million SCE residential and small-business customers in the utility’s 50,000-square-mile service territory.

SCE has contracted with Corix Utilities, Inc. to perform most of the installations. Here is some important information for customers getting the new meters:

  • Customers will be notified by mail in advance when installations are scheduled in their neighborhood.
  • Customers do not need to be home, but they do need to provide clear access to their meter. The installer will leave a door hanger indicating if the installation was successful or if an appointment for installation is required due to access issues.
  • During a typical residential or small business installation, customers will experience a short power interruption of less than one minute.
  • As an extra measure of protection, customers are encouraged to plug electronic equipment, such as personal computers and televisions, into power surge protectors.
  • Corix installers carry identification indicating they are approved SCE contractors.
  • Customers with smart meters will receive follow-up information by mail notifying them when new program features and services become available, and how to access them.

Edison SmartConnect is a $1.6 billion program authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. SCE anticipates customers’ use of the information provided by the new meters will reduce demand on the electricity grid by about 1,000 megawatts, the amount of energy produced at an average power plant. Sustained energy conservation resulting from customer response to their energy use information is also expected to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants by a minimum of 365,000 metric tons per year –  the equivalent of removing 79,000 cars from the road.

Customers can find more information at www.sce.com/smartconnect.

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