While continuing to work with the New York Public Service Commission to secure approval in December 2007 for the deployment of advanced electric and natural gas meters, NYSEG and RG&E, which are subsidiaries of Energy East Corp. , are completing a rigorous analysis of proposals from vendors to install a sophisticated system of advanced meters and a data management center.

"We remain committed to a schedule that calls for system testing in mid-2008 and installing these advanced meters beginning late next year," said Jim Laurito, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E.

The advanced metering system will eliminate estimated bills because meter readings will be done electronically. Advanced meters will also enable NYSEG and RG&E to offer customers a broad range of time-differentiated rates; enhance the companies' response to service interruptions because of two-way communications capability; and improve notification of meter tampering.

"Perhaps most importantly, these 'smart' meters will provide our customers with information that will enable them to conserve energy and control costs better than ever before," Laurito said. "The collective reduction in energy use made possible by advanced meters will postpone the need for new power plants and we will then avoid the environmental impacts that would result from new plants."

Every 100 MW of reduced peak-hour consumption will ultimately save New York consumers approximately $5 million per year and lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 500,000 tons, a reduction equivalent to planting 21 million trees or taking 82,000 cars off the road.