provision of retail and wholesale price information, access to usage data through an agreement with a third party, and access to usage information on a near real-time basis for customers with advanced meters.
Finally, the Commission is involved with the creation of national standards, and participated in many meetings held over the past year. The Commission is an active participant on issues ranging from customer access to cyber-security. As SB 17 directed the Commission to adopt standards, the Commission expects to maintain an active presence in this national effort to create consensus Smart Grid standards and to adopt them for California, where appropriate.
In summary, the Commission initiated a proceeding to move forward policies and guidelines that encourages utilities to create a smarter grid. Pursuant to SB 17, the Commission set the framework for utilities to file their Smart Grid deployment plans, and created the framework for utilities to be awarded funds from the $4.5 billion allocated to Smart Grid related projects through the Recovery Act. California continues to be a leader on Smart Grid policies, and the Commission is at the forefront of that effort.
PLANS & DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULES OF UTILITIES
As a first step toward a smarter grid, the Commission, beginning in 2006, authorized the state’s investor owned utilities (i.e., PG&E, SDG&E, and SCE) to replace conventional customer meters with advanced meters. Advanced meters serve as a fundamental building block of the Smart Grid by, amongst other things, providing customers with the ability to have greater control over their electricity usage. Additionally, advanced meters enable a utility to provide customers with detailed information about their energy usage at different times of the day, which in turn enables customers to manage their energy use more proactively.
Currently, advanced meters are being rolled out nationwide and internationally. It is estimated that over 70 million advanced meters are installed worldwide with over 250 million expected to be installed by 2015.8 In California, the Commission authorized Southern California Edison to install approximately 5.3 million new advanced meters, San Diego Gas and Electric Company
“Smart Meters” from Pike Research, November 2009.