PG&E to install “SmartMeters” in San Carlos

March 10, 2009

You'd better say “so long” to your familiar PG&E Meter Reader, because in the next couple of years that person will be replaced by technology.    PG&E announced that they will be replacing every existing gas and electric meter under their service with a new “SmartMeter.”   The have already started changing meters in San Carlos, and PG&E's goal is to have their entire customer base converted by 2011.

The smart meter uses wireless technology to send usage and diagnostic information directly to PG&E.  Theoretically, they will be able to analyze power usage better, and perhaps offer different price plans for those who don't use much electricity during peak times.   It also gives them a much quicker notification when there's a power outage, but I don't think that means they'll respond any quicker 😉

What does this mean for you?

I'm always in favor of newer and better technology, especially when it comes to home construction.  According to PG&E, here's what the changes will mean to you…

Future PG&E SmartMeter™ program customer benefits:

  • Fewer interruptions. We'll collect meter data without setting foot on your property and interrupting your schedule.
  • Faster power restoration. We'll be able to pinpoint power outages and restore your power faster.
  • Faster problem resolution. We'll be able to resolve service problems more easily and, in many cases, without having a service person visit your home or business.
  • Better billing. Because we no longer have to depend on in-person meter readings, we'll no longer have to estimate your bill when we can't access your meter.
  • Energy usage data. In the future, you'll be able to monitor your own energy usage via the Internet and see when you're using the most energy.
  • New rate options. As a result of the SmartMeter program, we'll also be able to offer you more rate choices designed to meet your needs. When these become available, you will be able to better manage your energy consumption and control your energy bills.

So if a nice person from PG&E knocks on your door in the next few weeks, they're probably there to bring your gas and electric service up into the 21st century….unless, of course, you haven't paid your bill in a long time!

For more information on this program, go to the SmartMeter Program on the PG&E website.


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  1. KR on March 11, 2009 at 12:11 am

    That’s great news! I’m all for more technology in San Carlos. Any idea how they will decide on rolling these out? In case you can’t tell, I would jump to volunteer.

  2. bill on March 11, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Dynamic pricing (i.e., charging different rates for usage by time of day) is not just a “theoretical” idea, but a government-mandated reality that will be forced on all of us over the next few years. Smart Meters are a necessary first step to making this happen.

  3. Chuck on March 11, 2009 at 11:06 pm


    You’re absolutely right — this kind of proactive energy management will become mandatory in the future. PG&E states that they’ll still manually read the meters for a while after they are in place, so that tells me the infrastructure required to implement dynamic pricing on all residences is probably not fully developed yet. But I agree it will definitely get there.

    Thanks for your comment…


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