Thursday, September 7, 2017

Is NJ finally getting smarter about smart meters?

BPU authorizes Rockland Electric to deploy smart meters in homes of 74,000 customers, a first for a Garden State utility

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

smart meter
New Jersey is finally embracing smart meters. Well, maybe.
Rockland Electric won approval last week from regulators to install smart meters in the homes of its 74,000 customers, the first time a utility has been given the go-ahead to put the two-way enhanced-communication devices into use in New Jersey.
Smart meters offer a multitude of benefits. Commonplace in other states — there are more than 65 million smart meters installed nationwide — they can help customers better manage energy use and reduce their bills.
“With new, smart meters, Rockland Electric’s customers can cut energy waste, boost renewables, and take control of their energy use and costs,’’ said Mary Barber, a clean-energy advocate for the Environmental Defense Fund. “This investment in smart infrastructure will improve the grid’s reliability and resiliency, deliver cleaner air and better health, and accelerate New Jersey’s clean-energy economy.’’
Known as the Advanced Metering Infrastructure program, the devices also boost reliability and cut the length of outages by notifying the utility quickly when power is lost. They also are good for the environment, reducing energy waste and better integrating cleaner energy options like solar and wind into the electric grid.

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But not in New Jersey. The state ranks 47th in the nation in the use of smart meters, according to a recent report by the nonpartisan Center for Data Innovation in Washington, D.C.

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