Colorado Springs Utilities installing smart grid technology

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From the Colorado Springs Gazette (R. Scott Rappold):

Colorado Springs Utilities officials say they already have the equipment in place to launch a smart grid here. And there’s an 85 percent chance it’s already in your home. “There’s a lot of hype going around the country about smart grid technology,” said Gina McCurley, manager of Utilities’ Advanced Metering Infrastructure program. “What we’re doing here today is basically putting our smart grid program together.” The city-owned utility has spent $56 million since 2006 installing automated meters for gas, electric and water service in homes and businesses. They have 80,000 remaining of a total of 450,000 in the city. Officials hope to connect all residents by the end of this year and all businesses by the end of 2010. In most cases, workers can make the switch without contacting the resident, though they must gain access to the home to install some water meters, McCurley said. The switch has allowed Utilities to reduce the number of meter readers from 77 to 11, which will eventually drop to zero, a cost savings. The automated meters could also someday be tied into a tiered rate structure for electricity and natural gas, charging more for use during peak times and less during off-peak hours.

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