‘Smart Meters’ pilot project targeted for 11,500 low income residents
New Orleans, La. – The U.S.
Department of Energy notified Entergy New Orleans, Inc. that it was selected to
receive a stimulus grant of approximately $5 million for a pilot project aimed
at helping low income customers better manage their electric bills.
With the DOE notification, the next
step in the process is for Entergy New Orleans to receive approval from the New
Orleans City Council to launch the pilot program that could place smart meters
in 11,500 residences of low income customers.
“This is a significant contribution
and investment by President Obama’s administration in the energy future of New
Orleans,” said Rod West, president and chief executive officer of Entergy New
Orleans, Inc. “Smart grid technology will transform the future of our industry
as well as our customer’s lives while positioning New Orleans among the leaders
in smart grid development.”
The Department of Energy received 400
applications for stimulus funding for the energy industry and only 100 projects
were approved. It appears that the Entergy New Orleans pilot is the only project
with a low income customer focus.
“Unlike the other projects around the
nation, the Entergy New Orleans AMI project will provide the company with a
better understanding of the impact smart grid technology has on low income
customers,” said West. “We believe the integration of these new technologies
will help customers better manage their usage and energy costs while helping the
company understand how well customers respond to the features and benefits
associated with the smart grid.”
The smart meters also known as
Advanced Meter Infrastructure or AMI will provide customers with near real-time
energy usage information, thus providing customers with an opportunity to have
more control over their energy consumption. Entergy New Orleans believes it will
help reduce the energy bills of participating low income customers. If the pilot
project meets customer and company expectations, it will likely be expanded.
Entergy will be working closely with
DOE officials over the next 60 days to acquire information on the requirements
and process for accessing the DOE funds.
Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an
electric and gas utility serving Orleans Parish and is a subsidiary of Entergy
Corporation. The company provides electricity to more than 141,000 customers and
natural gas to more than 92,000 customers in Orleans Parish.