Glendale Water & Power has reached the halfway mark of installing high-tech smart meters — which officials say puts the utility on track to be the first in the nation to have a fully operational “smart grid” system.
Full-scale installation of the 120,000 electric and water meters, which will allow two-way communication with the utility and let customers track real-time water and electric usage, began in December and is expected to be completed by summer.
“We are 50% of the way to a smart-grid system foundation that will provide many benefits to our customers and our utility,” General Manager Glenn Steiger said in a statement.
Utility officials have hailed the $70-million smart-grid project as the greatest advancement Glendale Water & Power has seen in the past 80 years.
Beyond the meters, the updated grid will help with leak detection and allow for a number of improvements in coming years, including the integration of renewable energy and the ability to create a “smart” rate structure, where customers could be rewarded with lower rates for electricity used during non-peak hours.
The project last week won a $1-million grant from the California Energy Commission, adding to the $20 million in federal stimulus money it’s garnered since 2009.