Rockland Electric Briefs Muni Leaders on Smart Meter Roll-Out
Rockland Electric Company yesterday briefed public officials, emergency management chiefs and civic leaders about the company’s implementation plan to install smart meters, throughout its New Jersey service area.
Smart meters, which already serve about 70 million customers nationwide, are safe, secure and reliable encrypted devices that will provide two-way, wireless communication between Rockland Electric and its customers’ electric service.
Smart meters are designed to provide Rockland Electric customers greater convenience, choice and control over their energy use.
Rockland Electric began installing smart meters in Bergen County on May 1, and about 1,500 of the new devices are already installed. The company estimates that full installation of electric smart meters throughout its service area will take about one year and cost approximately $16.5 million.
The smart meter program is an integrated system of meters, communication networks, and data management systems that will:
Reduce costs related to meter reading and the costs associated with back-office operations required to handle customer billing inquiries
- Facilitate quicker restoration of service after a storm event by communicating the precise location and status of service interruptions
- Allow customers to better control their energy costs through the use of pro-active features and to participate in various energy efficiency and/or demand response programs
- Enhance the planning and operation of the electric grid by providing operators and engineers with detailed data on system conditions
- Smart meters do not collect or transmit customers’ personal information. They only record individual premises’ electricity usage.
On August 23, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) approved Rockland Electric’s plans to deploy smart meters.
In its approval order, the NJBPU concluded that Rockland Electric’s proposed smart meter program has the potential to satisfy the goals of the NJ Energy Master Plan (EMP) and that the EMP supports Rockland Electric’s intended use of AMI and smart meter technology. The NJBPU also deemed Rockland Electric’s cost-benefit analysis sufficient for the smart meter program to proceed.