NYSPC Approves O&R Smart Meter Program for Orange, Sullivan Counties; Gives Customers There More Electric Use Choice, Convenience and Control

The New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) today approved O&R’s plans to begin installing smart electric meters and gas modules on every O&R electric service and gas service in Orange and Sullivan counties beginning in 2018.

O&R President and CEO Tim Cawley said, "Today's approval marks a major step forward in New York's pursuit of a brighter energy future. These safe, secure and reliable meters and modules are designed to provide O&R customers greater choice, convenience and control over their energy use."

NYPSC Commissioner Chair John B. Rhodes said, in a NYSPSC press release announcing the approval, “This new technology will not only save customers money, the smart meters can also provide substantial environmental benefits by reducing overall energy demand and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions."

He added, "With these advanced meters, the utility will also have information and data needed to better manage its systems, making them more reliable and efficient."

The smart meter wireless, two-way technology is proven and well accepted, with about 60 million smart meters already working across the nation.

O&R plans to install approximately 230,000 electric smart meters in its New York service area. The company expects to install the communications infrastructure in Orange and Sullivan counties beginning in January 2018 and the meters in March of 2018, replacing about 113,000 electric meters and 42,500 gas modules over a three-year period.

More than 23,000 smart meters have already been installed in Rockland County where the program began in June. O&R will replace approximately 116,500 electric meters in Rockland and 92,000 gas modules.

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 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.