Pepco’s smart meter installation behind schedule -- Gazette.Net


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Pepco will miss its announced end-of-2012 target for completing installation of so-called smart meters in Maryland.

About 78 percent of Pepco’s 550,000 Maryland customers — clustered in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties close to Washington, D.C., where the electric utility is based — have the advanced meters installed now. About half of the roughly 427,000 customers with smart meters have had them activated.

Smart meters can send a radio signal to the utility relaying data on use as well as outage information.

Pepco expects to install 95 percent of all smart meters by the end of January, Pepco spokesman Marcus Beal said last week. Customers will get a letter from the utility giving them the option of scheduling their installation, he said.

Pepco expects to move all customers with smart meters to billing based on signals sent from the meters by June, he said.

Some individuals and groups have opposed the new digital meters, citing privacy, health and safety concerns.

The Maryland Public Service Commission has not decided whether customers can refuse to have them installed, but the commission has ordered the utility to allow customers, temporarily, to opt out of installing a smart meter.

Beal said only .001 percent of customers have opted out so far.

mhyslop@gazette.net