The pilot runs from July to November 2008 and will test two-way communication via secure radio frequency between the customer's meter and BGE’s new meter data management system.
During the AMI pilot, customer energy usage is tracked hourly and transmitted every six hours to BGE’s MDM system for storage and validation. For the purposes of the pilot, meter readings will also be taken monthly by meter readers to validate the automated readings. In addition the system will allow the utility to monitor voltage quality, equipment operation, and load reduction for participants enrolled in BGE’s demand response program, PeakRewardsSM.
BGE’s AMI pilot is a component of its Smart Energy Savers ProgramSM intended to transform and expand customer options for better managing energy usage. Announced in January 2007, the Smart Energy Savers ProgramSM also includes PeakRewardsSM, a demand response program that uses next generation “smart thermostats” and energy saver switches to cycle customers’ air conditioning units during high demand, high price periods, a Smart Energy Pricing pilot intended to encourage customers to shift or reduce usage during peak usage times, and energy efficiency/conservation programs such as price mark downs on approved CFL light bulbs and rebates on ENERGY STAR® appliances.
Mark D. Case, senior vice president of strategy and regulatory affairs for BGE, said that customers will be provided with expanded energy management options, such as participation in time-of-use programs and internet access to their daily energy usage information.
BGE plans to deploy its AMI program system-wide beginning in 2009. Meter installations should be completed by 2012.
BGE is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 640,000 natural gas customers in Central Maryland.