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O&R Briefs Rockland Leaders on Smart Meter Deployment Plan; Gives Customers More Electric Use Convenience, Choice and Control

O&R gave Rockland state, county and municipal officials a look today at their plans to begin installing smart electric meters and gas modules on every Rockland electric service next summer.

The smart meter wireless, two-way technology is proven and well accepted, with about 50 million smart meters already working across the nation.

O&R told its briefing audience at the Sheraton Mahwah that the utility plans to install 230,000 electric smart meters in its New York service area. The company is planning to install the communications infrastructure and smart meters beginning in Rockland in summer 2017 with 115,800 meters over a three-year period. That plan was approved by the New York State Public Service Commission on Oct. 15, 2015.

The smart meters are the game changer in electric service reliability because they can report the exact location of individual electric service outages to O&R. Currently, O&R depends on customer calls to pinpoint the locations of outages.

The enhanced outage information helps speed repairs through the more effective deployment of crews and allows for improved communication with key stakeholders and customers, largely in the form of more accurate time estimates for service restoration.

The smart meters eliminate the need for a monthly meter read at customers’ premises (and the associated costs for that activity). The new technology will reduce the number of estimated bills, and reduce the number of meter-reader vehicles, and their accompanying emissions, on the road.

The benefits go beyond power monitoring to provide individuals greater control over their energy consumption. Customers will be able to see where and why their consumption increases/decreases and can take action to reduce their bills.

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