Southern California Edison officials are making the rounds in local city halls and county board rooms to get the word out that installation of new smart meter technology in Central Valley homes and businesses is near.
SCE regional manager Brian Thoburn is meeting with the Kings County Board of Supervisors and the city councils of Exeter, Farmersville and Woodlake among others to go over the program with installation starting in October to begin connecting around 200,000 meters in the Valley.
Already some 4.6 million smart meters have been installed in Southern California.
“What we are talking about is customer empowerment” says Thoburn who works out of the Tulare SCE office.”The new meters will give you access to information to help you manage your electricity usage and save money.”
For many people this will mean added convenience instead of waiting a month to see your bill, you can go online and see how much electricity you used yesterday.” This allows people to better budget as well.
“We think these meters will be more convenient adding increased reliability to their service and even offering remote on and off services.
Industrywide, statistics show power users hooked to smart meter are better able to conserve, says Thoburn a key goal of both the utilities and the State of California. In the event of a power outage the meters will help Edison to more quickly respond.
Smart meters are not only the standard in the electricity business but in water service and soon natural gas expects Thoburn.
Regarding SCE’s experience in Southern California where installations of the meters has been going on since 2009 “customers seem to have few issues with it.”
Thoburn emphasizes that customers will have a choice to” opt out” of the Edison Smart/Connect meter at a small monthly charge.
Thobrun concludes that the new meters will help customers monitor and manage their energy use online and if they want,get information via in home internet displays or even cell phones.
Installation of the meters should go smoothly with little disruption expects SCE with the work done by contractor Corix Utilities in yellow vests identifying themselves at your home or business.