More than five million smart meters have been installed nationwide as part of a federal effort to modernize the country’s aging electric grid, according to an announcement by U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
At a White House Grid Modernization event June 13, Chu said that the smart meter initiative will provide electric companies and consumers with more information about how electricity is used. The devices will give the utilities greater details about electric use in their service areas and will provide electric customers real-time data about their electricity consumption that will allow them to make informed decisions about how and when they use electricity in order to save energy and save money off electric bills.
As a result, a modern electric grid equipped with smart meters will “give consumers choices and promote energy savings, increase energy efficiency, and foster the growth of renewable energy resources,” Chu said.
Of the more than five million smart meters that have been installed by electric companies, nearly 90 percent of them have been installed in Florida, Texas, California, Idaho, Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan and Nevada.
Along with the smart meter milestone, the Department of Energy announced plans to create a nationwide data map of electric use built from information contributed by electric customers. The map is expected to help electric customers further understand their electricity use and make energy- and money-saving decisions.
“Energy Secretary Chu Announces Five Million Smart Meters Installed Nationwide as Part of Grid Modernization Effort,” U.S. Department of Energy press release, June 13, 2011.