With the nation’s electric utilities on target to install more than 65 million smart meters by 2015—representing more than half the nation’s households—Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn today said smart meters will dramatically increase the value of electricity to consumers.
“The smart meter, the building block of a smarter grid, will open the door to a wide array of benefits for our customers, including better home energy management, improvements in service restoration following outages, and new products and services. Grid modernization will enable us to function more efficiently and deliver better service to our customers.”
Kuhn made his remarks during the opening panel discussion of industry experts on the benefits of smart meters to kick off GridWeek 2012.
“The electric utility industry has launched a multi-year, multi-billion dollar effort to modernize the nation’s power grid,” Kuhn said. ”We are laying the groundwork that likely will spur the same kind of advances in electric technologies that we have seen in information and telecommunication technologies.”
Utilities are providing their customers with custom smart grid apps that can provide immediate information on energy usage and tips to encourage them to save energy. Utilities also are leading the charge on the Green Button initiative.
“In the not-too-distant future,” Kuhn said, “new innovations may revolutionize the way we think about electricity. I believe that there will be a lot of big ideas along the lines of the iPad. No one really knew what they were missing until they started using it. And, now, for many people, the iPad or other tablets are indispensable.”
Kuhn added that the industry must encourage regulators, at both the federal and state levels, to provide the flexibility and support needed to make grid modernization workable.
For more information on smart meters and how electric utilities are building a modern grid, please visit smartgrid.eei.org