AEP Texas to begin rolling out digital Smart Meters in Victoria


May 24, 2011 at 12:24 a.m.
Updated May 25, 2011 at 12:25 a.m.

Energy monitoring in the Crossroads will look a bit different as AEP Texas rolls out new digital Smart Meters.

AEP spokesman Elgin Janssen spoke to about 50 people Tuesday at the Victoria Economic Development Corp.'s Victoria Partnership meeting, updating them on Smart Meters and the installation process.

The process began in Victoria Friday as the company placed door hangers at some homes along North Navarro Street, Janssen said. The tags, written in English and Spanish, explain the switchover to digital meters and the benefits it brings.

About two weeks after a home receives its door tag, AEP Texas' contractor will replace the meter with a digital one, he said. The process will take place in phases, Janssen said. The company will install about 40,000 smart meters throughout Victoria County.

The plan is to perform about 800 change-outs per day and to complete Victoria's switchover in mid-July, Janssen said.

Switch-outs began last week in Calhoun County, he added, and should be complete in mid-June.

Digital meters offer several benefits, he said. They allow AEP to monitor energy usage remotely, without stepping into customers' yards, and to know immediately if a meter is out of service and just how many meters are affected. They also allow customers to evaluate their own usage online after registering their accounts.

" ... In the future, that's going to be important because retail providers will be moving toward time-of-day rates sometime in the future," Janssen said. "I think that's inevitable."



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