Texas’ biggest electric delivery utilities announced that their state will make history by jumpstarting the market for smart meter applications and empowering customers to benefit from smart meter technology.
The Biggest Energy Saver Campaign will encourage the development of new software applications to help customers easily understand and use information from their new smart meters. It will also encourage customers to make the most of their smart meter data by changing their habits to reduce their energy usage and control their electric costs.
Texas already has more than 3 million advanced meters installed and leads the nation in the generation of electricity from clean, renewable wind power. At the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, state regulators and business executives expressed pride in the Lone Star State’s leadership role.
“Texas has always been a global leader in energy and innovation,” said Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas. “We have a robust competitive market and are investing billions of dollars to improve our power grid, supporting cleaner generation and improving reliability. We couldn’t be more proud to have the two largest utilities in Texas with the broadest deployment of advanced meters in Texas leading the way through this new 21st century technology.”
The Biggest Energy Saver Campaign will feature a customer-savings contest that will drive the creation and use of customer-friendly tools for managing home energy consumption. By giving customers easy ways to read and understand the data provided by their meters to the Smart Meter Texas portal, the Biggest Energy Saver Campaign will help customers make more educated decisions about their energy consumption.
In the Oncor and CenterPoint Energy service areas, one grand prize winner from each participating utility’s service area will receive the Grand Prize of a new electric vehicle while the first-place winners will receive a suite of GE smart appliances that are equipped to talk to the smart meter and empower consumers to make smarter, more informed decisions on how they consume energy.
Biggest Energy Saver will also award prizes to software application developers who help customers better understand and use data from their new meters to control and reduce their energy consumption. Developers of the best applications will compete for prizes totaling up to $150,000.
The campaign, which is the largest of its kind in the nation, will promote the development of applications while educating customers about the benefits of using information from their advanced meters.
“As Texas customers face another hot summer, we want to help them realize the vast opportunities they have to better manage their energy use and control their costs,” said Brenda Jackson, Oncor Chief Customer Officer. “As we’ve talked with customers, they’ve asked us when they’ll be able to take full advantage of this new technology. We are advocating on their behalf to both software developers and device manufacturers.”
The Texas contests will run later this summer. Complete contest rules and registration will be available on the Biggest Energy Saver website at http://www.biggestenergysaver.com/ beginning mid-July. Until then, the website will serve as an online resource for customers to engage in conversations about smart meters and how to use smart technology to cut back on their electricity consumption, controlling their cost and making a positive impact on the environment. BiggestEnergySaver.com also features the “smart talk” blog with energy advice from experts around the nation, as well as the real-life experiences of customers using advanced meter information to control their electricity consumption and costs.
The Biggest Energy Saver Campaign is also supported by founding partners Landis+Gyr and Itron with IBM as a collaborator. The Biggest Energy Saver contests are sponsored by Grid 21, a new non-profit organization and national initiative to engage electricity customers in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption. Additional prize sponsors include General Electric and Tendril.