Report says co-ops leading in smart grid growth

Federal regulators are paying attention to the work electric cooperatives are doing in advancing smart grid technologies among their members. Electric co-ops lead the nation in adoption of smart grid technologies for their members, federal regulators say.

A report issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) noted that co-ops remained national ­leaders in implementing advanced metering in 2012. Electric cooperatives have the largest penetration, nearly 31 percent, which is well above the 22.9 percent penetration level for all U.S. utility customers that FERC reported for 2011.

“Customers are getting more information about their consumption of electricity and the associated prices,” FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said in a statement accom­panying the report. “And they are being offered more options to act upon this information to manage their usage and costs.”

According to the FERC report, advanced metering ­penetration among co-ops increased from 16.4 percent in a 2008 survey to 24.7 percent in 2010 to 30.9 percent in 2012.

“Co-ops’ repeated ‘first-place win’ demonstrates that they will do the right thing for their consumer-owners without compulsory federal or state regulation,” said Rich Meyer, NRECA senior regulatory counsel.

Source: Electric Co-op Today, Steven Johnson