Baltimore Gas and Electric has teamed with Accenture and Oracle to implement a smart meter network for its 1.2 million customers. The planned implementation is part of BGE’s smart grid initiative that aims to reduce peak electricity demand, increase customer service and enhance operational performance.

Smart grid will provide customers with detailed information regarding energy consumption and cost, and will deliver data that will enable BGE to enhance the performance of its distribution network. Combined with BGE’s energy efficiency and demand response initiatives, smart grid will help the state of Maryland, under EmPOWER Maryland, achieve its goal of a 15 percent reduction in total system demand by 2015.

Accenture will provide systems integration services including the design, build and management of a customer web portal, meter data management system, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), and integration related to BGE’s customer care and billing and outage management systems. Accenture also will provide project management support through planning, execution, field deployment and change management activities.

BGE’s smart meter network will leverage Oracle’s utilities meter data management system to help manage and analyze high volumes of meter data more effectively while providing customers with detailed energy usage data, which is expected to result in decreased peak energy consumption and electric bills. BGE also plans to integrate the meter data management system with its existing Oracle utilities network (outage) management system to enhance outage management processes with near real-time outage and restoration verification capabilities.

As part of its implementation of smart grid, BGE plans to be one of the first utilities in the nation to offer smart energy pricing, whereby customers can earn rebates for reducing electricity usage during peak times of the day. In 2008 and 2009 respectively, BGE, with the support of Accenture, conducted two smart energy pricing pilots during which participating households reduced peak energy consumption ranging from 22 percent to 37 percent. BGE estimates reduction in energy usage will ease the need for future power generation plants and other capacity upgrades which will reduce costs for BGE and its customers.