PG&E finds smart grid boosts customer service

The progress report covers projects within the utility's Smart Grid Deployment Plan submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission in June 2011 describing new and ongoing efforts to modernize the electric system

Oct 2nd, 2012

San Francisco, October 2, 2012 — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) provided an annual update to state regulators showing the utility's progress on its smart grid plan for modernizing the electric grid to deliver a host of reliability, energy and cost savings to customers.

The progress report covers projects within the utility's Smart Grid Deployment Plan submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in June 2011 describing new and ongoing efforts to modernize the electric system.

By integrating a wide range of advanced communications, computing, sensing and control technologies on the electric grid in Northern and Central California, PG&E is upgrading the grid to deliver better service to customers.

The annual report provides updates on the rollout of PG&E's outage detection program, which can check individual meters to determine whether power has been restored during an outage; intelligent circuits, located in Fresno and Bakersfield, that help improve system-wide electric system reliability and reduce the average length of an outage; and high-tech monitoring equipment on the transmission system to provide early warning of potential problems so grid operators can take corrective action before widespread outages occur.

In the future, as part of PG&E's plan to enable new customer energy management capabilities, different pricing programs will be introduced to give customers the opportunity to shift their energy use to times of the day when energy prices are lower and potentially save on their bills.

PG&E's smart grid projects will also support more widespread customer adoption of rooftop solar as well as "smart charging" programs that encourage the use of zero-emission electric vehicles, while helping protect the safety and reliability of the energy grid.

PG&E, a unit of PG&E Corp., is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the U.S. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California.

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