PPL Electric Utilities (PPL; Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.) is the first major electric utility to provide hourly usage data in a full-system deployment via the Web. Hourly data helps customers see how their activities affect power usage and develop strategies to use energy wisely.

In addition, PPL is using the hourly data to develop time-of-use rate options, which the utility plans to offer to all its customers starting in 2010. These plans provide different rates based on the cost of power throughout the day, allowing individuals to make more informed decisions about when they use electricity and how much they pay for it.

Access to the hourly usage data and other information is available to business and residential customers through a secure account log-in on the myPPL Web site at www.pplelectric.com. PPL customers sign on to their account and are presented a dashboard hosted by Aclara (Hazelwood, Missouri, U.S.).

The dashboard allows customers to see all the important features of the most recent bill: bill highlights, how energy was used by electric appliance for the billing cycle, how billing cycle electricity usage compares with customers with similar home profiles, and links to find personalized ways to reduce their electric bill. Another new feature for PPL's customers using the dashboard is bill-to-date, which lets them see how much electricity they have used since their last bill and generates an estimate of their next bill.

The hourly data being presented to customers is collected from PPL's 1.4 million customers using Aclara TWACS advanced metering infrastructure technology. Aclara's meter data management system then performs back-office data processing, which includes advanced validation, editing and estimation to ensure that data presented to the customers is high quality and accurate.

Nearly 240,000 customers have registered to use the myPPL Web site, and approximately 6.5% of PPL customers signed on to its dashboards in October.