A new guide to implementing smart metering, entitled ‘Deciding on Smart Meters: The Technology Implications of Section 1252 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005’ has been published by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).

The guide was commissioned from Plexus Research Inc. and is aimed at helping utilities and regulatory bodies understand the technological, economic and strategic implications of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) and the various implementation alternatives.

“The devil is in the details,” says the Guide’s Foreword. “The Act, per se, does not require that utilities do anything. It requires that the regulators of regulated utilities, and the Boards of Directors of unregulated utilities, shall ‘consider and determine’ what, if anything, the utilities in their jurisdiction must do to comply with the objectives of the Act … On one level, the Act’s treatment of alternative rates, demand response and ‘smart metering’ may seem simple and straightforward.

But it creates some potentially burdensome deliberations and financially intimidating requirements for many utilities.” Topics covered in the Guide include a summary of the key provisions of EPAct Section 1252, the justification for advanced metering, a tutorial on the enabling technologies, the economic and technical implications of technology choice, and best practices in purchasing, installation and integration.