LADWP to Fit Businesses with Real-time Electricity Meters

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) has received funding from the California Energy Commission to install real-time electricity meters at more than 3,400 businesses in its service area. Use of the meters reportedly could reduce demand by as much as 240 MW.

LADWP began installing the real-time metering system at Los Angeles businesses in August, with the project expected to be completed by May 2002. Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution Inc. is supplying LADWP with its Spectrum Integrated Meter System (SIMS) for the project. The system utilizes solid-state electric meters from Siemens Power T&D, coupled with a “smart” metering solution from Jackson, Miss.-based SmartSynch.

The smart metering program, free to all 3,400 businesses, will give businesses the ability to profile, manage and forecast energy load in real-time, calculate bills in detail based on when power is used, and monitor usage on the Internet.

The system’s wireless connectivity also allows it to transmit outage and power usage data via satellite to LADWP’s communications center. The information, tailored to meet specific criteria dictated by individual businesses, is distributed by LADWP in minutes to pager-toting employees via the SkyTel satellite-paging network.

“As the state struggles with forecasting increased energy demand, LADWP is implementing aggressive energy management programs with our customers,” said Randy Howard, LADWP’s commercial services manager. “The new metering technology puts real-time power consumption knowledge in the hands of L.A. businesses. We’ve provided a no-cost solution that gives commercial business the ability to conserve or shift energy use when power demand is high to low-peak, cost-effective time consumption time frames.”

The metering system is geared toward commercial and industrial customers with peak electricity demand of 200 kW or greater. These customers typically include the manufacturing facilities, large retail outlets and office buildings that consume more than 40 percent of the LADWP electricity load.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipally owned utility, serves more than 3.8 million people in Los Angeles.

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