Dallas, June 3, 2010 — Oncor’s Smart Texas project has installed 1 million smart meters, marking a milestone in the progress of the company’s smart meter transformation since the project began in 2008.
“Breaking the 1 million-meter threshold is a significant milestone. This has been a great team effort, and we’re very proud of all the individuals who contributed to the attainment of this achievement. We’re even more excited for the growing number of customers who have access to real-time energy information to help them control how much energy they use and save money,” said Oncor Senior Vice President of Asset Management and Engineering Jim Greer. “Thanks to the leadership and vision of the Texas Legislature and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, many Texans are benefitting from smart meter technology ahead of the rest of the nation.”
Greer added that smart meters provide a platform for consumers to better understand how they use energy, allowing them to manage their energy consumption in ways that make sense to them, lower their energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment.
Studies worldwide demonstrate that consumers could save 5 to 15 percent on their energy costs with easily accessible information on how they use electricity and what it costs. Based on these studies and current customer consumption patterns, Greer estimated that if all customers in Oncor’s service area adjusted their electricity usage because of readily available consumption information, Oncor’s customers could potentially save a total of up to $250 million annually and minimize the need for up to a dozen new power plants over the next decade.
Smart meters read energy use in 15-minute intervals and transmit the information to Oncor through a secure communications network. Smart meters also support home area networks inside homes and businesses that communicate with in-home energy monitors or other home energy management devices.
In May 2008, Oncor launched the Smart Texas Mobile Experience Center to educate customers about the smart meter installation. The 1,000-square-foot mobile “smart house” with intelligent appliances and in-home energy monitor demos has reached more than 50,000 customers and traveled thousands of miles introducing Texans and other utilities to smart meters and their capabilities.
Oncor’s operation is also beginning to benefit from the information provided by smart meters. Oncor is using information from the smart metering system to better pinpoint where outages have occurred.
“We’re still working to fully link our smart meter and outage management systems, but we’re already using this new information to detect and respond to customer outages,” said Greer. “Our capabilities in this area will continue to improve as we continue to upgrade our metering technology.”