T&D World Magazine

Consortium of Texas Utilities Launches Smart Meter Texas Portal

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC joined other electric transmission and distribution utilities in Texas to launch the Smart Meter Texas common portal and data repository, which will give consumers in Texas with smart meters more control over their electricity use.

CenterPoint Energy has installed and tested more than 157,000 smart meters for residential and business consumers in Houston, and these consumers can now view their electric usage history down to 15-minute intervals at www.SmartMeterTexas.com. The company has installed an additional 111,000 smart meters which are in the process of being tested.

The Web portal developed and operated by IBM on behalf of CenterPoint Energy and other Texas TDUs, including Oncor and American Electric Power, will serve as a single repository of usage data for customers with smart meters in the service territories of these utilities.

The Smart Meter Texas portal also allows retail electric providers to access their smart meter customers' usage information to support retail offerings such as energy analysis tools, time-of-use rates, and pre-paid service. Through the portal, REPs can also connect Home Area Network devices to smart meters that will help customers better manage their electricity use by remotely controlling smart electric appliances and thermostats, which are under development by a number of manufacturers.

Since March 2009, CenterPoint Energy has installed more than 267,000 smart electric meters along with supporting communications infrastructure and computing systems as part of a multi-year plan to deploy more than 2 million smart meters across the company's entire electric service territory in greater Houston. Upon completion of negotiations with the U.S. Department of Energy for a $200 million stimulus grant, the company will accelerate its smart meter deployment from five years to three and begin building a self-healing Intelligent Grid that will utilize smart meters and other technologies to improve operational efficiency and electric reliability.

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