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Aug. 17, 2011: Centerpoint Energy and DOE Announce Results of Pilot Project on Home Energy Use

August 17, 2011
KEYWORDS DOE / smart grid
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HOUSTON — CenterPoint Energy Inc.’s electric transmission and distribution subsidiary, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric LLC, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have released survey results from a 500 participant smart meter in-home display pilot program begun last fall. According to the survey, 71 percent of customers reported that they have changed their electricity consumption behavior as a result of the energy use data they accessed on their in-home displays.

In the survey:

• 51 percent of respondents reported adjusting the temperature on their thermostat based on the information on their in-home display;

• 83 percent of respondents reported turning off lights at night or when not in the room;

• 93 percent of respondents reported they are satisfied with their in-home display; and

• 97 percent of respondents reported they will continue using it.

“We are very excited about the performance of our system and the results received from the participants,” said Kenny Mercado, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric’s division senior vice president, Regulated Operations Technology. “With our smart meter deployment and intelligent grid initiative, we are not only making significant improvements to modernize our electric infrastructure, we are also giving consumers detailed consumption information to help them manage their electricity usage.”

Consumers who have already received their smart meter no longer have to wait for their bill to access their electric consumption information. After a two-month acceptance period following the installation of a smart meter, consumers can get detailed information on their electric usage by visiting SmartMeterTexas.com.

In the future, consumers will have the option of purchasing an in-home display, providing them with up-to-the-minute usage information. The survey responses from the pilot show that this type of real-time data can have a significant impact on consumers’ energy use behavior.

In addition, smart meters are read remotely, minimizing the need to go house-to-house. Smart meters will also automatically notify CenterPoint Energy about outages to help the company restore power more efficiently. To date, CenterPoint Energy has installed nearly 1.5 million smart meters in its 2.2 million meter system. The company is scheduled to complete deployment in mid 2012.

Publication date: 08/15/2011

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