New $500 million, east coast smart grid plan in the works

Baltimore Gas and Electric announced plans to lower customer costs and increase energy efficiency through a $500 million smart grid project


Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) announced plans to lower customer costs and increase energy efficiency through a $500 million smart grid project. The project is expected to start by the conclusion of 2009 and the two million new smart electric meters should be completely installed by 2014.

The meters installed by BGE in homes and businesses will help monitor-and lower-energy consumption during peak demand. Also equipped with an "energy orb", the meters can warn customers with a flashing light when peak periods will arrive, allowing users to reduce their energy use and limiting the demands of the power grid.

According to the Baltimore Business Journal , the project will cost approximately $500 million, with as much as $200 million of the fund coming from the U.S. Dept. of Energy . BGE is expected to request the stimulus money in August and hopes to receive a response by October.

The utility ran a test smart meter program in 2008, with results showing $100 decrease in energy bills per customer and energy usage down 45%. A spokesperson for BGE stated that over the life of the entire program, customers will save a total of $2.6 billion and 500 MW, the equivalent of a new larger power plant.

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