Smart grid in Ohio
The power grid Ohioans rely on daily continues to grow in size and complexity while the technology used to run this system becomes increasingly dated. While the existing infrastructure has served consumers well for more than a century, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) aims to highlight the reliability, efficiency and safety that comes with a modernized electric grid. The PUCO has reviewed future smart grid opportunities, policies and projects in our grid modernization initiative, PowerForward.
What is smart grid?
Smart grid employs advances in technology to improve the existing electric system, making it more reliable and efficient. Real-time monitoring devices such as smart meters and smart appliances give consumers more control over their energy consumption. By replacing aging equipment, smart grid helps utilities deliver electricity consistently and reliably. Investment in smart grid technology benefits both consumers and utilities by strengthening the electric system that millions use daily.
How do smart meters benefit Ohio?
Ohio’s electric utilities have deployed approximately 1.2 million smart meters throughout the state to replace traditional meters. Smart meters have been proven to be reliable and accurate, and can provide real-time energy consumption information to both consumers and utilities. With traditional meters, utilities relied on customers to report service issues and outages and then sent a representative to investigate. Now, smart meters and distribution automation provide two-way communication, allowing the utility to efficiently identify and respond to problems and interruptions. The methods of this two-way communication can vary based on utility:
Opting out of a smart meter
In Ohio, you have the right to opt out of receiving a smart meter. There can be monthly and one-time fees associated with declining a smart meter. One-time fees can include the cost of replacement of an existing smart meter or set-up of a traditional meter, while monthly fees can cover the cost of sending a crew out to perform a meter reading.
How can consumers engage with the smart grid?
Smart meters help customers control, reduce and most importantly, understand their use of electricity. With updates to the electric system, consumers are empowered to monitor their energy consumption which helps to manage electricity costs and allows utilities to provide more consistent, reliable service.