EPB should be ready before year’s end to buy the control system for a meter system that would allow people to do such tasks as control their power use while they’re away from home, an official said.
Vancouver, Canada-based Tantalus Systems Corp. will supply software and communications equipment to operate EPB’s planned smart meter system, said David Wade, senior vice president of EPB’s electric system.
EPB will sign a contract before year’s end to buy the control system for smart meters. The meters will be purchased and installation will begin this spring at homes that sign up to test EPB’s cable television service.
“They’ll provide the software, which we can use with different meters, so we’re not stuck with only one meter (brand),” he said.
The hardware and software will cost about $900,000, said Danna Bailey Cannon, EPB vice president of marketing.
EPB will sign the contract within the next few weeks, Mr. Wade said. EPB has not yet selected a meter manufacturer, he said. Hardware and software costs per meter should be about $117.
The meters will interact with the smart grid fiber-optic system the utility is installing in its service area. The meters will allow power customers to use a computer to monitor and adjust their power use while they’re away by controlling such items as the thermostat.
The meters will communicate with EPB every 15 minutes to update the utility on power use and report any outages. The meters will be used for billing, and EPB also will know if anyone is tampering with the meters, which should reduce theft of electric service.
Installation will start this spring at houses participating in a test of EPB’s cable television, telephone and Internet service, Mr. Wade said. Eventually, all homes and businesses will receive the meters, even if they don’t subscribe to telecom service, EPB officials have said. Customers will not be charged for the meters, officials have said.