Burlington Electric begins installing new Smart Grid meters
Kicked off by Mayor Miro Weinberger, Burlington Electric Department began the first phase of advanced meter installations in the Locust Terrace neighborhood today. Part of the nationwide upgrade to the electrical delivery system known as Smart Grid, the utility is installing the new “advanced meters” to provide two-way communications between customers and the utility.
“I am so pleased to be here and see first hand how these new meters work. Burlington Electric Department has clearly done a lot of ground work preparing for this day, and customers will soon reap the benefits of these new meters in the form of more reliable service, faster communications and cost savings,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Better and smarter infrastructure like this benefits City residents and businesses alike,” he added.
The new meters are being installed system-wide by BED over the next eight months and are part of a federal Smart Grid Investment Grant program involving all of the state’s utility companies. Other Smart Grid upgrades already completed by the utility include installation of new hardware and software back-office systems, fiber optics, advanced switchgear, and upgrades to its customer interface systems. New distribution system control and data acquisition software, a new web portal, employee training on the upgraded systems, and customer outreach and education round out BED’s Smart Grid program, which is called “ConnectCity.”
“The new, advanced meters may look similar to the old versions, but the capabilities and flexibility offered to our customers now and in the years to come don’t even compare,” said Barbara Grimes, General Manager of BED. “Customers will no longer have to phone us to tell us of an outage, renewable systems will easily integrate into the power grid, and on-line review of energy use patterns will be available at the click of a mouse.” Grimes noted that there will be plenty of additional benefits for customers in the future, too. Advanced meters’ two-way communications will allow customers to determine the timing of their electricity usage and the impact of corresponding, flexible pricing programs offered by BED. The meters will also allow customers to maximize their efficiency as more “smart appliances” are put in use.
Among the first BED customers to receive the new meters is Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont, Gabrielle Stebbins. ““I promote renewable energy and energy efficiency to lessen our carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels, and to grow green job opportunities everyday as part of my workday. This advanced meter is a key step towards a smarter power grid, enabling renewables to meet more of our energy needs, be it power, heat or transportation.”
About Burlington Electric Department
The Burlington Electric Department is a municipal department of the City of Burlington and one of 2,200 public power electric utilities in the United States. It’s mission includes producing power that is as clean and as locally produced as possible; to treat the environment with the utmost respect; to provide customers with top-quality advice on energy efficiency and promote new products that help to achieve maximum efficiency. To learn more about advanced meters, visit www.connectcityburlington.com
Burlington Electric Department 4.23.2012