PPL Electric Utilities, which serves central and eastern Pennsylvania, got approval from state regulators last week to revise its smart meter program, according to citizensvoice.com. The okay came more than a year after a $450 million proposal to update kilowatt-hour reading devices to 1.4 customers was announced.
The original plan was to start deploying new meters at the beginning of this year. The approved plan will require residential and commercial customers will pay fluctuating fees on their meters before PPL starts installations, which is expected to begin in 2017. The charge – which will range from 58 cents to $6.69 per month – is a pass-through that will not create a profit for PPL.
The new meters will improve service reliability and enhanced customer management. Charges for business customers were not available.
Smart meters have obvious advantages. Andy Navarrette, who is the senior manager of the Energy Solutions and Service Department of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company outlined them in a post at The Union. They include giving customers more timely usage data and restoration information in case of an outage, starting service more quickly after a move, easier utilization of special rates, setting up alerts on usage rate thresholds and managing usage on mobile devices.