Southern California Edison has installed its one millionth smart meter at the home of a customer in Redondo Beach. SCE started installation of smart meters in September 2009 as part of its Edison SmartConnect program. The company will install approximately 5 million smart meters for residential and small business customers by the end of 2012.

“Reaching the one million meter mark today is a milestone in the deployment of our smart meter program,” said Theodore F. Craver Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Edison International. “After years of extensive research, we have made careful decisions to invest in technologies, systems and devices that provide a full range of customer benefits. We look forward to making available to all of our customers the valuable features smart meters provide, enabling them to closely monitor and manage their electricity usage to help them save energy, money, and the environment.”

“Our region was green before green was cool, and I can think of no better place to install SCE’s one millionth smart meter than here in the 36th congressional district,” said Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Venice). “Smart meters empower customers to make better choices about their energy usage – lowering electrical bills, reducing demand during peak hours, and preserving scarce resources. Kudos to Southern California Edison for this ambitious and innovative program.”

Edison SmartConnect meters are digital, secure, two-way communicating devices that replace traditional mechanical meters and provide a key step in transforming the electric system to a smart grid. Smart meters measure a customer’s electricity usage up-to-the minute and, later this year, customers will be able to view their energy usage online to track how much they use and how much it costs.

By the end of the year, SCE will introduce new programs and services that will empower customers to make better-informed decisions about their energy use. In the near future, when advanced features are fully activated, the smart meters will be able to communicate with the next generation of smart thermostats, appliances and other devices.

Edison SmartConnect is a $1.6 billion program authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. SCE anticipates customers’ use of the information provided by the new meters will reduce demand on the electricity grid by about 1,000 megawatts, the amount of energy produced at an average power plant. Sustained energy conservation resulting from customer response to their energy use information is also expected to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants by a minimum of 365,000 metric tons per year – the equivalent of removing 79,000 cars from the road.