The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has approved Peco’s plan to speed up the installation of smart meters for all their customers by the end of 2014 – five years earlier than anticipated when they received initial approval from Harrisburg in 2008. Smart meters have two-way communication with the utility, which Peco claims will allow for more sophisticated billing, grid management and outage control.
Peco had to suspend its smart-meter program last year after several meters overheated and caught fire. They changed meter manufacturers and say the accelerated time frame to install the meters would save $58 million, because they will not have to maintain two different meter systems until 2019.
Smart meters allow consumers to track energy use during peak and off peak hours and will encourage conservation, according to Peco. Peco also plans to offer “dynamic pricing, in which consumers will have the option to choose separate time-of-use rates, thus offering savings in their energy bills.