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Modernization of the nation’s electric grid has emerged as a priority in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). By integrating the nation’s aging power grid with digital technology, both consumers and utilities will be empowered to manage electricity more efficiently by saving energy, reducing costs, and increasing reliability. Smart grid technology can be used to increase energy independence and address global warming issues.
VEC is currently communicating with more than 36,000 smart meters via Advance Meter Infrastructure (AMI) technology (also known as Advanced Meter Reading (AMR) technology), and is the first utility in Vermont to install and use the AMI system.
By reading meters electronically, VEC operates more efficiently because meters are read from the office - eliminating time delays that occur with travel by sending a meter reader from our office to physically read a meter at a member’s location. During outages, VEC’s Control Center can now spot outages remotely, often detecting power interruptions before members discover that they have lost power. Restoration times are improving thanks to the use of AMI meters.
This is just the beginning! As VEC utilizes emerging communication technology platforms like AMI, members can now access and track their energy consumption on an hourly and daily basis through the wattWATCHERS section of this website.
Eventually, appliances that are now outfitted with smart chips will be programmed to run when electric demand and prices are low. Conversely, appliances can be programmed to shut off during periods of peak electric demand and prices. Empowering consumers to manage their electricity efficiently translates to smart energy.