Southern California Edison (SCE) has started installing smart electric meters in the Santa Barbara and Ventura areas as part of the Edison Smart Connect program. The technology will help SCE residential and small-business customers to better manage their electricity use and will introduce programs and services designed to help them save money.
Installations are occurring now and continue through July.
The new smart meters are digital, secure, two-way communicating devices that are replacing traditional mechanical meters as a key step in transforming the electric system to a smart grid. They will help SCE pinpoint outages and restore service faster and also enable remote service activation for customers.
The system communicates using radio frequency (RF) signals similar in strength or lower than RF signals from devices such as cell phones, Wi-Fi routers and cordless phones. This level of RF is well below the Federal Communications Commission’s safety guidelines.
The meters measure electricity usage in hourly increments for residential customers and, in the coming months, they will be able to view their energy usage from a computer through SCE.com.
Later this year, customers will be able to sign up for new Edison SmartConnect-enabled programs and services that will help them manage their services online.
SCE has contracted with Corix Utilities, Inc., to perform most of the installations. Corix installers carry identification indicating they are approved SCE contractors.
Residential customers who do not have a smart meter installed and wish to delay installation can request to be placed on a temporary delay list (800-810-2369) until the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) completes its regulatory process regarding opt-out procedures.