FYI Re Pepco s Smart Grid Program and the Office of the People s Counsel request for a public education program prior to its start. Gigi Ransom ... From:Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27, 2010View SourceFYI Re Pepco's Smart Grid Program and the Office of the People's Counsel request for a public education program prior to its start. Gigi Ransom
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From: Office of the People's Counsel <info@...>
Sent: Mon, September 27, 2010 4:00:24 PM
Subject: PowerCentsDC Pilot Program Confirms Need for Consumer Education about "Smart Meters"
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PRESS RELEASEContact: Consumer Services Division | 202.727.3071 | email: ccceo@...OPC: Delay "Smart Meter" Installation Until PEPCO Conducts Consumer EducationInterim People's Counsel Brenda K. Pennington, today petitioned the DC Public Service Commission to order a delay in the installation of new "Smart Meters" citywide until PEPCO presents a consumer education and media outreach campaign directed at consumers regarding the need for the smart grid and the manner in which the Company will install its smart meters. "PEPCO spent two years learning valuable lessons from the DC Smart Meter Pilot Program, now all DC consumers need to benefit from what we learned: The success of the smart grid is dependent upon early and consistent education and communication to consumers," said Ms. Pennington.
OPC's petition is not arbitrary or unreasonable. First, it is grounded in the sound reasoning that consumer education is important to the success of the smart grid. Second, it is grounded in the anecdotal evidence of a growing set of witnesses in the form of utilities that have experienced failure and success in their Advance Metering Infrastructure or "AMI" deployment, marketing and public relations experts, and the Maryland regulatory commission which is also considering this very important issue. Lastly, our experience with the DC Smart Meter pilot should not be ignored. DC consumers in the pilot responded at a very high level, made energy choices based on abundant information and achieved savings across the different rate groups because they were educated early in the process before the deployment of the actual "smart meters." "Why would PEPCO not seek to provide this same level of early education to all DC consumers," questioned Ms. Pennington.
The May 2010, Consumer Mindset survey by "Ecoalign" found that approximately 70% of Americans have not heard of the term "Smart Grid," but once the term was explained, consumers were able to see it as means to manage their rising energy bills. Customers need to understand how the "smart meter" and their consumer behavior are an essential part of the new "smart grid".
"Before meter crews start roaming through yards, PEPCO should tell consumers, openly and clearly, how the process will proceed, why this new connectivity is necessary and how it may change their customer experience," said the Interim People's Counsel.###
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