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Smart meters approved in District of Columbia


Electric utility Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) was granted approval on June 22 by the Mayor and Council of the District of Columbia, through emergency legislation, for the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).

Electric utility Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) was granted approval on June 22 by the Mayor and Council of the District of Columbia, through emergency legislation, for the deployment of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) as a precursor for a full smart grid rollout.

Smart meters will be installed to serve Pepco’s 247,000 customers in the District of Columbia. Smart meters give consumers greater visibility on their electricity usage, and can differentiate between electricity used during peak hours and off-peak periods. Tracking off-peak electricity use enables utilities to charge lower rates for off-peak electricity and enables customers to run energy-intensive appliances (such as washing machines) at night when electricity is cheaper.

“Obtaining District approval of AMI is an important step forward which will help District customers better manage their energy use and costs,” said Pepco region president Tom Graham. “This legislation is key to presenting the best possible case for obtaining federal stimulus funding authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).”

The ARRA contains $4.5 billion in funding for smart grid development. Utilities can cover up to 50% of their cost through the ARRA for the construction and deployment of a smart grid in their service area. The application period for ARRA funding for smart grid starts over the next few weeks. Funds are being administered by the Department of Energy, which will be favoring legislatively-approved projects and applications that are planned to a “shovel-ready” stage. District approval gives Pepco an advantage in receiving funding.

Pepco delivers electricity to 247,000 customers in the District of Columbia. Pepco is a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI), which delivers electricity to a total of 750,000 across the District of Columbia and Maryland. PHI serves its customer base through its subsidiaries Pepco, Delmarva Power, and Atlantic City Electric. PHI also provides wholesale generation service through subsidiaries Conectiv Energy and sells retail energy products through Pepco Energy Services. PHI is listed on the NYSE as POM.


Mike R. Lopez


Sources:

1 http://www.pepco.com
2 http://www.pepcoholdings.com

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