In what figures to be another step toward clean energy and more energy conservation, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Thursday gave approval to Public Service Electric & Gas to invest approximately $700 million during the next four years to provide its 2.3 million electric customers with smart meters.
PSE&G officials said smart meters are the foundation of its energy cloud-advanced metering infrastructure effort that will create an integrated, two-way communications network between electric customers and the utility. This network will enable automatic, near real-time meter reading — virtually eliminating estimated utility bills, providing more efficient response to outages and allowing customers to make more informed decisions about their energy usage.
“This is a vital step toward achieving a smarter and cleaner energy future for New Jersey,” PSE&G President Dave Daly said. “Smart meters provide the real-time communications necessary to better serve our customers and will provide electric customers with valuable information about their energy consumption. Smart meters and the supporting communications network can help expedite electric service restorations when severe weather strikes, help customers increase their home energy savings and improve service quality.”
“A smart meter network is essential to PSEG’s Powering Progress vision for a future in which we help our customers use less energy; ensure that the energy they do use is cleaner; and deliver that energy more reliably than ever.”
The program is just one of the many that Karen Reif, PSE&G’s vice president for renewables and energy solutions, outlined to ROI-NJ last fall.
The implementation of a smart meter network is also another step toward achieving Gov. Phil Murphy’s clean energy vision for New Jersey. The improved communications will lead to fewer truck dispatches and other efficiencies that are expected to reduce PSE&G’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 2,800 metric tons per year.
The decision clears the way for the largest installation of smart meter technology in New Jersey history.